The McGuire omission will mean that Kevin Sinfield slips into the stand-off role with Gareth Ellis at loose forward. Feather and Bailey join last weeks seventeen, with Feather the most likely be named eighteenth man an hour before kick-off. I relish the opportunity to see Kev at Stand-off again this season, I think that this is his strongest position.
Noble brings a side firmly rooted to the bottom of the table...and what a grin that brings to the face as you type it. Just a shame that it isn't the Bulls. Mark Calderwood missed out on the game through injury, but has shown since his arrival that he was an average player in a great Leeds side who has not been able to cut it in a poor side like the 2006 Warriors. The once concern that the Rhinos will have is the new golden boy of the JJB, Michael Dobson who we know has the skill to turn the game. Ex-Rhino McAvoy is named in the Wigan side, and has played in all games since arriving at the JJB. The full Wigan twenty is; Ashton, Brown, Dallas, Dobson, Fletcher, Godwin, Goulding, Hansen, Higham, Hill, Hock, Logan, McAvoy, O'Loughlin, O'Carroll, Orr, Paleaaesina, Richards, Tickle, Vaealiki.
Hull FC showed with last night win over the Saints that a side who have benefitted from a week off through an early cup exit should not be underestimated. Hull FC played a superb game against a Saints side who started to wilt in the heat and looked jaded in the last ten minutes. We need to hope that the Rhinos show more stamina.
We have to remember that we only just got away with the points on our early season visit to take on Goldfish Gob and his Wigan side earlier in the season. At that game we trailed by 16-0 at half time but struck back for a 24-16 victory with a sensational second half performance. That was probably the game that started Wigans woeful plummet to the bottom of Superleague XI.
The Warriors haven't won at Headingley since Superleague VII, although there were two 24-24 draws in Superleague VIII. The Rhinos biggest ever win over the Warriors was last seasons 70-0, but don't expect another one of those.
Three Warriors to watch;
The stage is set for a decent Rhinos win, but fear the side with nothing to lose. Everyone expects a big Rhinos win, so there is always the nagging doubt that with the pressure off, the visitors could cause some mischief. Having said that I still think that this should be a straighforward two points, to put is two clear of third place Hull FC, and get us two closer to Saints (leaving us four adrift).
Tonights forecast indicates that it will be cracking the flags. Should be a smashing night either in the undercover heat of the South Stand, or on the glorious western terrace. Enjoy the sun!
The bookies have given the visitors a fourteen point start which is very respectful of Noble's men. Most Rhinos supporters will be hoping that we put a lot more than that on them as we look to improve our points difference. I'd be looking more for a thirty point plus victory, to follow up the hammering of the Bulls.