After massive scares last weekend for both Danny McGuire (knuckle) and Ryan Bailey (sternum), they both have joined Matt Diskin in the twenty man squad named by Tony Smith. The thinking is that all three are unlikely to be fit, but there is hope that at least one of them will be. If not, a first game of the season will be handed to Carl Ablett. Kevin Sinfield, along with most of the SouthStand, will be praying for a Diskin return to save him from having to run out at hooker again.
The Giants have had an extra week off after their World Club Challenge enforced early start to the season. Will this have been an extra week to rest ready for their sunday afternoon clash, or will it have been an extra week to dwell and brood over their pointless start to the season?
The Giants are back at full strength with the exception of Aspinwall who is ruled out through injury. On their day, as we found out to our cost in last seasons semi-final, the Giants can be a force to be reckoned with. Any side which contains the likes of Crabtree, Paul, Thorman, Drew and Hudson, must gel at some point in the season and take a major scalp.
Lets just all hope that it isn't sunday.
Three Giants to watch;
The Rhinos have only lost once to the Giants in Superleague, a six point defeat in the sweltering heat at the MacAlpine back in Superleague VIII. Big wins for the Rhinos in 2005 (by 54-10 and 44-14) were followed by two narrower wins last season (20-12 and 36-14). The game that most Rhinos fans will remember though is the Challenge Cup semi-final loss last season, a result which still makes me shake my head in disbelief.
The most recent result, between two competitive sides, but outside a competitive environment, was the 50-0 win for the Rhinos in the Keith Senior Testimonial just over a month ago.
With a sunday afternoon I'd expect the numbers to be boosted, although this might not make up for the lack on interest in the opposition. Once again many people will be expecting a big Rhinos win, and I agree, but I have everything crossed that we don't get stung again.
The forecast is for sub ten-degree temperatures with every chance of a shower or two, not conditions pray positively on the mind of the casual supporter.
The bookies have given us a starting deficit of fourteen points and I think that this is pretty close to the money. AP is a little more optimistic about the Rhinos hopes, picking a larger winning margin.
There are just a few more hours to get your predictions in in the tipping competition.