Leeds Rhinos squad revealed for Boxing Day clash as team set for boosts

Much of the Leeds Rhinos squad will be getting their Covid booster jabs tomorrow (Tuesday) ahead of the start of their pre-season schedule on Boxing Day.

Sport has been severely hit over the past week by the spread of the Omicron variant and Rugby League clubs will be wary of similar effects as matches begin on Boxing Day with three traditional festive ties.

But Leeds, who had a Covid case in their own squad last week, are trying to do their bit by making sure players are all jabbed up.

“We’ve got a group booking (on) Tuesday for everybody to receive their booster,” said Rhinos head coach Richard Agar.

“There’s a couple of guys who won’t be boostering, as they’ll be having second jabs, or they’ve had their second jabs and they can’t booster just yet.

“Obviously our protocols internally are as robust as they’ve been for a long time. Leading into the game we’ve asked the players to be as vigilant as they possibly can be, so fingers crossed.”

The club has also capped the attendance for the Wetherby Whaler match against Wakefield Trinity at 9,999, to avoid the five-figure threshold that will mean supporters require Covid passes to enter the ground.

Leeds say the seated capacity will not exceed 6,000 and the standing capacity will not be above 3,999, though fans are still encouraged to take a test before attending and wear masks when moving around the ground.

The club has already sold 7,000 tickets for the clash, which will also be streamed live on the OurLeague app.

Barring the risk of further cases or injuries, Agar will field three of their four new signings.
Halfbacks Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin, alongside forward James Bentley, will start against Trinity, although David Fusitu’a won’t feature, having only recently arrived in the UK, while captain Matt Prior will not be risked.

Youngster Jack Sinfield could make his first appearance after being named in an extended squad, which will be reduced on the morning of the game.

“We want to use it to see how we go and it gives us an indication of where we’re at,” said Agar.

“We’re not expecting to be where we want to be come round one, because of what we’ve done and not done yet.

“But I want the new singings to really experience what a home game at Headingley is all about. They’re special occasions.

“It gives individuals a really good opportunity to say ‘I mean business this year’ and ‘I’m in really good shape’, even this early.”

Leeds Rhinos 22-man squad to face Wakefield Trinity: Richie Myler, Jack Broadbent, Harry Newman, Tom Briscoe, Ash Handley, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kruise Leeming, Zane Tetevano, Alex Mellor, James Bentley, Cameron Smith, Brad Dwyer, James Donaldson, Morgan Gannon, Bodene Thompson, Sam Walters, Jack Sinfield, Jarrod O’Connor, Muizz Mustapha, Liam Tindall.

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