The news from the Rhinos camp is that Brent Webb is back in contention after missing out on the trip to Langtree Park. For many Webb is a bit of a enigma, brilliance punctuated by moments of pure madness, but he's never been quite as poor as stand-in Lee Smith was last week.
Stevie Ward retains his place in a squad which still missed McGuire and Jones-Buchanan (injured) and Bailey (last game of his three match suspension). News that we've sold Jay Pitts to Hull FC after three appearances so far this season will have surprised a few supporters and leaves us wondering what Hetherington has got up his sleeve.
Rob Burrow is named in the nineteen despite some scares earlier in the week that he may not be fit and it is Webb and Hood who are added to last weeks seventeen. Big Macs squad is; Webb, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, L. Smith, Delaney, Kirke, Clarkson, Griffin, Moore, Hood, and Ward.
There is more good news than bad for the, soon to be departed, Giants coach Nathan Brown. He's lost Kevin Brown with an ankle injury but welcomes back Luke O'Donnell after a seven month injury absence, alongside Luke Robinson and Lee Gilmore.
Over recent seasons the Giants have started well and then had a mid-season wobble when the camp was disrupted with talk about their coaches future. There is less confusion this year as everyone knows he is leaving at the end of the campaign but there seems to be a correlation between last weeks strong rumours of him joining Saints and their shock defeat at Hull KR.
Brown names a nineteen of; Grix, Lawrence, Cudjoe, Gilmour, McGillvary, Brough, Crabtree, Robinson, O'Donnell, Fa'alogo, Faiumu, Lunt, Patrick, Wardle, Chan, Lee, George, Molloy, and Eden.
Three Giants to keep an eye on;
The Giants ended fifty years of Headingley misery when they won 38-06 in the league fixture last season, their biggest ever win at Leeds. It was a record run of home victories which is unlikely to ever be equalled, but one which we'd like to start building back towards with tonights game.
Leeds won two of last season three meetings, the latter two being close to end of the season with a last regular round win by 31-24 followed a fortnight later with a 34-28 win in the Grand Final play-off elimintator, thanks to a Hardaker hat-trick, two from Brent Webb and a Jones-Bishop try.
I've tipped the Giants to win this one by six points. The last time I went against us was for the win over Warrington so I am hoping that my increasingly useless 'gut feel' can be put to good use. The bookies are giving the Giants an eight point start on the coupon, which to me seems crazy, but you rarely see a broke bookie.
It's going to be another smashing day weather wise and the forecast suggests wall to wall sunshine with the temperatures only dipping below double-digits as the final hooter warms up.
Give yourself plenty of time if you intend to top the car up on your way to the game, travel safe, and see you there as the lads once again try and prove me wrong.