There are definitely changes from last week as Lee Smith, Carl Ablett and Jamie Thackray are all omitted from the eighteen man squad named yesterday by coach Smith. Ryan Hall, who has impressed so far this year, is in the eighteen alongside Nick Scruton and Ali Lauiti'iti who both missed out from last weeks twenty. It is likely to be Scruton, Kirke, Tansey or Hall who doesn't make the final selection, but many supporters have been calling for the de-selection of Ryan Bailey who is a shadow of his former self.
Coach Anderson is also missing a few players he'd rather have in his run-on side. Sean Long has failed to recover from injury and Francis Meli and Bryn Hargreaves are both not fit enough to return from knocks. Paul 'biscuit' Sculthorpe is once again sidelined with a long term injury. The side does however have plenty of talent and the eighteen named are; Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Pryce, Fozzard, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Roby, Bennett, Graham, Moore, Smith, Clough, Fa'asavalu and Tyrer.
Three Overpaid Saints to watch;
Whilst the Rhinos have a chance of drawing level on points with Saints if they win tonight, we have no chance of being sat at the top of the pile as we need to win by 118 points to be clear at the top. Aprils' 38-19 win was to most Rhinos fans and pundits surprise, but a win at Knowsley Road tonight would have to go down as a shock. Saints, even without Long, Sculthorpe and Meli are a sensational side and I am struggling to see anything other than a big home win.
In our last visit to Knowsley Road we took an 18-54 tonking and we'd already lost 04-13 there earlier in the season. You have to go back as far as September 2005 to find the last Rhinos victory on Scouse soil when the Rhinos shocked the Rugby League world with a 19-16 victory top put the table topping Saints out of the Play-Offs thanks to tries from Ward, Lauiti'iti and McGuire.
The forecast is for light rain this morning which should clear up before kick-off giving a clear evening. The pitch will, however, be sodden from this weeks downpours and the Senior Academy curtain raiser has been called off to protect the pitch.
The bookies are giving us a twelve point start but I can see that not being enough for us. If you fancy Leeds for first try scorer then Sporting Odds are offering Danny McGuire at 14/1 and Brent Webb at 16/1 along with Scott Donald.
Enjoy the game, and have a safe journey.