While pre-kick-off will be a sombre occassion as we remember the life and career of John Holmes, the following eighty minutes should be an exhibition which acts as a fitting tribute to one of the Loiners greatest ever servants.
Bluey has stuck with the same nineteen that breezed past Hull KR in the opening week of the play-offs and it is likely that the same seventeen, and same starting thirteen, will be selected from that squad. The nineteen is; Webb, Donald, Smith, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Burgess, Worrall, and Watkins.
It was a very strong looking Leeds side a fortnight ago who were held at bay for forty minutes but then swept aside the opposition to win by a comfortable 44-08.
Kevin Walters brings his, what must now be weary, side to England for the fourth time in as many weeks. The weekly trip between Perpignan and the north of England must be taking its toll on the players. Despite that Walters has also named the same nineteen as he did last week in; Baile, Bird, Bosc, Carlaw, Casty, Duport, Elima, Fakir, Ferriol, Gossard, Greenshields, Guisset, Martins, McGuire, Mogg, Pelo, Raguin, Ryles, and Touxagas.
Three Dragons to watch;
This is game four of 2009 against the Dragons. The Rhinos comfortably won the home game by 42-14 back in March and then ran out by 36-16 winners at Murrayfield during the Magic Weekend.
The last meeting between the two was a nailbiter in Perpignan when the Dragons snatched a 32-30 win in the dying seconds.
The Dragons have never won at Headingley. Their first visit was a 60-12 Leeds win in 2006, followed by 54-08 in 2007, and 34-06 in 2008. On their last two visits they have lost by 28 points on both occasions, a trend which would be nice to continue and send a message to the remaining two semi-finalists.
Richard Silverwood is in the middle, so anything could happen, but I can only see a comfortable Leeds win and a chance at a third Grand Final win. How 'Saint' Steve has been given the other game beggers belief.
Their is very little chance of rain forcast for friday night but the temperatures are dipping and you can tell that autumn is on its way.
The bookies are likely to be giving around a sixteen
point start to the Dragons and I think that we might just better that.
See you there, and enjoy the game, and don't forget your scarf for the tribute for John Holmes.