Leeds will be delighted to welcome Jamie Jones-Buchanan back into the squad, a major boost even if he doesn't make the seventeen that will take to the field. JJB replaces on-loan Singleton in the nineteen man squad which is otherwise unchanged.
The lads know that they only just did enough to progress in the Challenge Cup against a determined Salford City Reds in diabolical conditions last Sunday. A performace like that will undoubtedly mean defeat on Saturday night, and hopefully the coaches will have been working all week on 'finishing' from within the opponents twenty.
Big Mac's nineteen is; Webb, Jones-Bishop, Hardaker, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, L. Smith, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Griffin, Moore, and Lunt. I expect that McShane will miss out, and that JJB might not quite be ready for first team action.
Hull coach Peter Gentle will be looking for his side to turn around their fortunes after losses to the Giants (twice) and Warriors.
It was confirmed during the week that Willie Manu will be departing Humberside for St. Helens (out of the frying pan, into the fire) at the end of the season but he is included in the ninteen man squad as an important component of the FC side. Perennial underachievers, the Airlie Birds have assembled a squad which should be challenging for honours and they already have a tasty looking improvement for next year in the form of Gareth Ellis.
Gentles' nineteen to do battle with the Rhinos is; Aspinwall, T. Briscoe, Crooks, Ellis, Houghton, Kent, Lyne, Manu, Moa, O'Carroll, O'Meley, Pitts, Russell, Sharp, Seymour, Tickle, Turner, Whiting, and Yeaman.
Three Airlie Birds to keep an eye on;
It is almost five years since Hull FC last beat the Rhinos. A 06-17 result on the 7th September 2007 at the KC Stadium was the last defeat before an eleven game competitive winning sequence for the Rhinos against the old enemy.
Last season the Rhinos won all four meetings. A 32-18 win at the KC in February was followed by a league win at Headingley by 20-0 in July. One week later the Rhinos were 38-22 winners in the Challenge Cup quarter final. The last meeting between the two sides was at Headingley in the first play-off eliminator which again saw the Rhinos victors, this time by 42-10.
The bookies have give the home side a twelve point start on the coupon and as you rarely see a poor bookie they will be pretty close to the money. I think that we may do slightly better than that margin, but we're in the same ballpark.
The forecast is for a little rain in the morning but clearing in the afternoon and then it is going to be rather cold, feeling around freezing. That will be the same as last sunday then!
Have a safe trip over, hope it was worth taking out a second mortgage to but the ticket, and that we come home with the two points.
Enjoy the game.