Ryan Bailey and Matt Diskin are both set to return although it seems a shame to disrupt the side which were so fluent and dominating for seventy minutes in London last Saturday. The lads will be eager to set the record straight after the humiliating loss at Odsal earlier in the season and will be doing everything to ensure that our neighbours don't escape Headingley with the double.
The nineteen man squad has been named as last saturdays seventeen plus the returnees and in full is; Webb, Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Ablett, Burgess, Worrall, and Watkins. This is about as close to full strength as we can get with the only absentee being the long-term Kirke.
As if the odds weren't stacked heavily enough against McNamara he is without Sykes, Morrison and Rinaldi and won't risk Wayne Godwin who is nearing the end of a long recovery from a broken leg. He has been forced to draft two teenagers into his side in the form of Donaldson and Cook, although both are likely to miss out on the final seventeen. Injury setbacks aside, McNamara does have a squad which seems to be underachieving this season as they languish fourth from bottom, three points off the extended play-off zone.
There is plenty of class and experience within his squad but he just doesn't seem to be getting the most out of them. Tonight he will pick from; Sykes, Langley, Sheriffe, Burgess, Donaldson, Scruton, Menzies, Newton, Whitehead, Cook, Halley, Nero, Lynch, Kopczak, Jeffries, Tadulala, Worrincy, Platt, and Deacon.
Three Bulls to watch;
We played the Bulls at home twice last season, winning on both occasions. We won by 28-18 on their last visit in August and by a far more convincing 44-02 back in March 2008. The last time that the Bulls won at Headingley was on the 29th June 2007 when they went away with a 14-38 win in Les Vainikolos last game for them.
Just like I thought before the game at Odsal, there can only be one winner and one outcome. Leeds should wipe the floor with the Bulls but derbys are a very funny type of game where you can throw the form and rule books out of the window.
The likelihood is that it is going to dry and warm tonight with temperatures up around twenty at kick-off. There is a slight chance of rain later according to the forecast but this should come well after we are all in the pub celebrating victory.
The bookies given the Bulls and fourteen point start but I am hoping that we'll cover that plus a few more. Just for Mick Gledhill they are offering 4/1 on a straight Bulls win.
See you there, enjoy the game.