Rhinos coach, Brian McDermott admits that, despite scoring a try in Leeds’ 26-24 defeat at Wigan on Thursday night, their young winger Ash Handley is likely to get a week off for Friday’s game next week (17th July), when the Rhinos will be welcoming the Salford Red Devils to Headingley Carnegie
With just two games left before the split (to Super 8s and Qualifiers), the club is set for a major boost with England international, Tom Briscoe set to come back into the fold.
“Whilst it won’t be an easy call to make,” explained McDermott, “Briscoe deserves to come back after an impressive first part of 2015. The likelihood is that I’ll stand Ash Handley down and put Tom Briscoe in but it’s not an easy decision,” he added.
“When Tom got his injury, he was in outstanding form. He was probably our best player at that stage of the year: his individual stats were incredible; he’s tried and tested; he’s got some miles on the clock. He deserves to come back in.
“But it’s a really harsh call on Ash Handley, who I feel has held his own. He has been very good because he has handled it. I have played down his role but he has taken his chances real well.
“To keep a young man in there week after week starts to take its toll and I have talked to Ash about it; he can hold his head high and be proud of the job he’s done.
“It’s a success story, in terms of a junior being picked from obscurity and told to go fill the boots of a seasoned international. Ash has done a fantastic job.”