The shock, or perhaps not such a shock, is the dropping of Ryan Bailey from the Rhinos squad for this game. Bailey seems to have gone off the rails somewhat in recent weeks and his performance at Warrington on monday bore more resemblance to a turnstile than a GB prop forward. Chris Feather gets a return to the squad after injury and Ashley Gibson is also named in the eighteen but likely to miss out. Tony Smith will be looking for a massive improvement from his men, and expect the SouthStand lunatic fringe 'booboys' to be in best heckling voice if this one looks like slipping.
Leeds have a big lift from the news that inspirational scrum half Thomas Leuleui is missing as he is away on New Zealand duty, the downside is that ex-tormentor in Wigan and Bradford colours Henry Paul makes his first appearance at Headingley for five years. Most of the Leeds players will never have played against the Union returnee, but the supporters will remember his skill all too vividly as he has supervised many a desperate afternoon and evening at the hands of our opposition.
Three 'Quins to watch;
I don't think that there is any way that we will be run away winners like we were in March. The Harlequins have improved since our last encounter, and Paul will add a bit of backbone. They got a good win last weekend over the Giants, but showed their inconsistency a week before with a 42-22 loss at Wakefield. The 'Quins are a bit like Leeds, you just never know which side will turn up!
The bookies have given the Harlequins a twenty point start and I think that they will be very close. I'd take the draw at 16/1 with a small wager.
With Bradford just a point behind us in third place, and away at Hull FC, and slip up will see us descending further down the table, and further away f4rom Saints who play the Giants on saturday in the televised game.
A bright afternoon will leave us with a shirt sleeves evening, excellent conditions for the flowing rugby that we love.
There are just a few more hours to get your predictions in in the tipping competition.