Hardaker issue not a distraction, says Mac

Leeds Rhinos boss Brian McDermott has insisted that the latest controversy surrounding Zak Hardaker will not be a distraction for Leeds against Wigan tomorrow night – and has said that Hardaker is determined to get it right on the field against the Warriors.

The 22-year-old is the subject of an RFL investigation after being accused of making an abusive comment during last weekend’s defeat against St Helens. However, with the investigation ongoing and Hardaker allowed to play, McDermott has backed his man to put in a strong showing on Friday, saying there is no issue with his frame of mind over the incident.

“I wouldn’t call it a distraction, it’s an issue we’ve got to deal with. We won’t let it be a distraction,” McDermott said.

“Zak’s dealing with it really well. He’s a pro and a fierce competitor.

“While it’s something he doesn’t want to be having to deal with, Zak is determined to get it right on Friday night. He’s in a great frame of mind because of it.”