Leeds will need to repeat the performance of their last Headingley outing to have a chance of defeating the visitors, a side who have dropped just one point so far this season in the shock season opening draw against Hull FC.
Ryan Bailey is back in the squad after missing the last two outings but the Rhinos are without the services of Jones-Buchanan. Out-of-favour Paul McShane and Lee Smith don't make Big Macs nineteen, as Liam Hood is rewarded for an impressive try scoring debut with a second shot at the seventeen. We do look to have an embarrassment of riches at the moment, and long may it last. We'll need to maintain a fit squad to have another shot at silverware in 2012.
The nineteen is; Webb, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Griffin, Moore, Pitts, and Hood. Expect Moore and Pitts to be the absentees from the seventeen named an hour before kick-off, but with Big Mac you just never know.
Tony Smiths' side are on a roll with four wins in the last four, however, they did seem to make hard work of their victory over the Bulls last weekend in a game which most pundits thought they'd win easily.
There are a couple of absentees, which slightly weaken a very impressive Wolves line up as Brett Hodgson misses through injury and Chris Bridge through suspension after being punished for 'intended use of the elbow' last weekend, despite not really making contact. While losing two, Smith is also gaining two, as Westwood and Grix both return to the side after time off through injury.
From the Wolves games that I've seen this season it seems to be 'get Briers' season, perhaps we'll make a better job of it that the other sides have?
The ex-Rhinos supremo names a nineteen of; Atkins, Blythe, Briers, Carvell, Cooper, Evans, Grix, Higham, Hill, McCarthy, J. Monaghan, Morley, Myler, Ratchford, Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, Williams, and Wood.
Three Wolves to keep an eye on;
Richard Silverwood is in the middle, possibly indicating that he is Stuart Cummings current first choice referee. Interestingly he is supported by two other first grade referees on the touchlines in Hicks and Childs, are the RFL expecting trouble?
Despite winning both Superleague games last season, 24-40 at the Halliwell-Jones and 6-42 at Headingley, the Rhinos won the only one that really mattered with that sensational 26-24 play-off semi-final victory on our way to Grand Final glory. That is still going to be hurting the Wolves and this will have been the first fixture that they looked for when the lists came out. Revenge will be the only word on their minds.
Prior to last season the Rhinos has won four on the bounce against the Wolves. In all Leeds have won 25 of the regular season Superleague meetings while Warrington have managed just ten victories, there has been a single draw back in Superleague VI.
I tipped against us (18 point loss) when we went to Warrington in the play-offs so I am going to do the same again for tonights game. While Warrington are without a couple of important players they have started the season strongly and I think that we are still suffering a little from the massive match against the Sea Eagles. The lads can prove me wrong again, and a hope that they do, but I suspect this will be our second loss of the season as we time our peak for late summer/early autumn.
It is looking like a very mild night with temperatures remaining in double digits throughout the match and very little chance of any rain. It should be a very pleasant early spring evening and conditions favouring fast open rugby league.
Enjoy the pre-match, observe the minutes silence for our fallen heroes, and then enjoy the game. Sing your hearts out for the lads.