Jamie Peacock was added to the burgeoning Rhinos injury list last week with ankle ligament damage suffered in the loss to the Robins. The good news is that Ryan Hall and Danny Buderus are both likely to play after missing last week, Ryan Bailey will be back after being ill last week, and Kevin Sinfield is rated as 50:50 to be fit enough to play. I suspect that he will be risked.
Luke Ambler joins recent debutants Pitts, Coady and Bush in the nineteen but Clarkson misses out after last weeks debut. Hall will at least patch up one of our leaky wings but expect Wigan to get the ball wide on every possible occasion.
The nineteen in full is; Webb, Delaney, Senior, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Buderus, Jones-Buchanan, Lauitiiti, Sinfield, Diskin, Bailey, Kirke, Burgess, Pitts, Coady, Ambler, and Bush. All-in-all it has a much stronger look than last weeks seventeen, however, last weeks nineteen also looked okay but was decimated by last minute withdrawals.
Wigan are flying high at the top of Superleague and look a totally different proposition to the overweight and lethargic Wigan thet played under Noble. Their only loss so far this season was the shocker at Oldslum when they threw the game away after establishing a commanding lead, don't expect them to do that again this season.
New coach Maguire has definitely crafted a potential champion side over the winter, working mainly with the raw materials which Noble left behind. Micheal McIlorum is likely to make his first appearance of the season after being given the green light after a knee injury and Harrison Hanson is also back in the reckoning after being out last weekend. Phelps, who picked up a knock last week is also declared fit to play. The only real relief for Leeds is that the battering ram Paleaasina isn't in the squad.
The Warriors nineteen is; Phelps, Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards, S. Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Coley, Hansen, J. Tomkins, O'Loughlin, Prescott, McIlorum, Bailey, O'Carroll, Mossop, and Goulding.
Three Warriors to watch;
Leeds come into the game on the back of two defeats, the home side after two victories.
The last time we played Wigan at the DW we lost 10-28 as Pat Richards kicked us to death. We had won the home game in 2009 earlier in the season by 34-10. We won three from five against the Cherry & Whites in 2008 including that sensational 52-16 win in August, the last time we won in Wigan. Lets hope that tonight will give us the positive memories that night did.
I've got everything crossed for a Rhinos win. Another defeat going into a tough looking Easter period and we could find ourselves too far adrift to have a reasonable punt at the Grand Final and that fourth successive title. I know that we just need to get through these injuries and get a decent side out there, it is just a matter of time and the results will start happening.
The weather for today and tonight looks pretty decent. A few showers around lunchtime and then it is likely to be dry this evening for the game. If the Rhinos fans can do little rain dance on their way into the stadium then that would be appreciated, a bit of a downpour could be a leveller. Oh how times have changed!
The Predicitions Prize Money thread for sponsors 'bet' is now on and would net the prize fund over £85. The bookies have given Leeds a six point start on the handicaps which to me, in my current pessimistic state of mind, doesn't seem anything like enough. I hope that the lads can prove me wrong.
See you there and enjoy the game.