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Cummins Return to Bolster Youngsters
Posted by southstander on April 05 2005 - 17:26:30

Legend Returns
by Matthew Horton

The Regular season begins tomorrow for the Under-21's and after the grading phase its First Division football this year. No trips to Wigan, Bradford and Hull this season, this fixture list contains the delights of Featherstone, Doncaster and Dewsbury.

Wednesdays is the first one of such games and a trip to Cougar Park to take on the Keighley Cougars.

Read the match preview here.

The Rhinos have not played since the final grading game at Wakefield on the 9th March. Since then Liam Botham and Nick Scruton have gone to First Grade, Lee Smith also had a run out as well in the disastrous defeat on Easter Monday. So this is going to be the first game for the team in near on a month. It's going to be a long season for the Rhinos youngsters but hopefully they can prove everybody wrong by bringing home the silver at the end of the season.

Onto proceedings at Cougar Park on wednesday night, the game kicks off at 7.30pm and coach Stuart Wilkinson has named his team for the game. Lee Smith will start at full back, Gareth Morton (who has an appearance in the First Grade in 2001 and 2002) plays in the centre as a trialist after returning from a spell with Borders RU and Francis Cummins makes his long awaited return after injury. Ashley Gibson moves to the second row to make room for Morton and Jamie I'Anson gets the nod ahead of John Gallagher who starts from the bench. Scott Murrell and Jordan Tansey continue at half back and Joe Walsh has returned to the Under 18's and played in the opening 33-32 defeat at Huddersfield last Saturday.

Your Rhinos team for the opening fixture is 1. Lee Smith; 2. Francis Cummins, 3, Chris Buttery, 4. Gareth Morton, 5. Matt Gardner; 6. Scott Murrell, 7. Jordan Tansey; 8. Luke Burgess, 9. Jamie I'Anson. 10. Luke Stenchion, 11. Jason Golden, 12. Ashley Gibson, 13. Carl Ablett; 14. John Gallagher, 15. Danny Williams, 16. Dave Tootill, 17. Jason Hart.

Little is known about the Cougars team but they had a 100% record in the grading phase, after playing the same teams at the Rhinos, all defeats. They lost to Warrington 58-20, Wakefield 48-6, Salford 46-20 and Halifax 50- 10. Only Featherstone came out of the grading phase with a worse record.

So, if your in the area, get down to Cougar Park to see the return of a true Leeds legend and hopefully some legends of the future. A match report will appear on the site sometime on Thursday.

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