Leeds coach Brian McDermott has hinted that there are still some places available in his team for next weekend’s Super League play-off semi-final.
The Rhinos face Huddersfield tonight in their final league game before the play-offs – but, unlike two years ago, there will be no dramatic finale at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Leeds already know they are assured of second while the Giants can’t make the play-offs – and McDermott admits while he’s close to knowing his team, it is not completely decided just yet.
“I’m close to it,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of versions; I was talking through a potential semi-final team from March onwards, we do that most weeks. You’ve got to go through a process for team selection for most positions.”
McDermott also admitted he knows exactly what he wants to get out of tonight’s game – and warned that the Giants will be stern opposition despite having only pride to play for.
He said: “We’ve got a really big game the following week, so a win, a good performance and little to no injuries,” he said. “I think we’re in good shape; mentally we’re looking forward to a big game but we’ve got to make sure we’re in the right attitude to face Huddersfield, because they won’t be in party mood.”
And McDermott will tinker with his team slightly tonight, leaving players out who may be carrying bumps and bruises ahead of the semis next week.
He said: “Stevie (Ward) goes to war every week, picks his sword and shield up and starts trying to chop heads off. He looks like he’s been in a small car crash every week so he’s due a rest.”
Brad Singleton has also been rested, while McDermott said he approached some other players about resting them but they insisted they were willing to play on Friday night.