Tony Smith has now had chance to have a look at new boy Jamie Thackray and has decided to give him a run in the Under 21's before throwing him into first team action. That should bring in an early crowd to The Jungle, and give Smithy something to watch in the build-up to the main event.
After missing the majority of last weeks game against the Bulls, Sinfield is back in the squad and raring to go. Matt Diskin was in last weekends twenty but didn't make the seventeen as he returned from injury. This week he will be used at some point but I'd expect Millard to start at hooker and Diskin be on the replacements bench.
Mattersons is without the unfortunate Wayne Pryce who has been ruled out for the season after a bad leg break which kept him in hospital for several days. He has also looks likely to lose McGoldrick to injury but names him in the twenty. His twenty man squad includes the returning Andy Kain and is, in full; Platt, Shenton, Dyer, Handforth, Kain, Sculthorpe, Henderson, Nutley, Roarty, Huby, Whitaker, R. Fletcher, Viane, Fa-Aoso, Manu, McGoldrick, Ward, Lupton, A. Fletcher, and Brough.
This is the Rhinos first visit to the Tigers since a 34-08 win in March 2004, a game which saw a McGuire hat-trick in front of just under 12,000 fans. The last time that the Tigers beat us on their patch was in August 2003 when they scrambled a 28-20 win. Castleford have visited Headingley on two occasions already this season with the Rhinos winning both games comfortably. In the first meeting in March we won by 66-14 with a Walker hat-trick amongst eleven tries. Six weeks later we won by 42-06 in a game where the Tigers simply came to try and keep the score down.
Three Tigers to watch;
Leeds have now managed to string together a winning run of eight matches, but a couple have been very close affairs. The Tigers, on the other hand, have allowed their inconsistency to drag them into the relegation dogfight. Their last four games have seen them lose to the Harlequins and Hull FC whilst beating Warrington and Huddersfield. They now sit just three points clear of the drop spot and nerves must be starting to jangle as the early season hope dissipates.
It looks like it might be the kind of game to be slapping on the factor fifty as temperatures are set to hit the mid to late twenties and the sun will be beating down, making the open terrace behind the goals an attractive place to stand.
The game is not all-ticket but on a sunny sunday afternoon could be pushing towards capacity. It would make sense to get there early, and take in Thackrays performance for the youngsters.
The bookies have us with a fourteen point deficit at kick-off but I reckon that we will be able to overcome that and should register a decent win. Still some time left to get your entries in to the tipping competition.
Enjoy your trip to Cas on sunday, fingers crossed we get the points.