LEEDS RHINOS coach Richard Agar will be without Kiwi forward Zane Tetevano for the remainder of the regular season and it appears that halfback Callum McLelland’s campaign is also over.
Experienced former NRL prop Tetevano, who has played internationally for both the Cook Islands and New Zealand, has been hit with a three-match ban for a high tackle during the 14-0 win at Wigan Warriors.
It means that if Leeds miss out on the play-offs, the 30-year-old former Newcastle Knights and Sydney Roosters star’s first season since moving from Penrith Panthers on a three-year deal is over.
Having featured in the 20-13 defeat at Wakefield Trinity, Tetevano started his ban as Leeds faced Hull FC at the Magic Weekend. He also misses Friday night’s clash at St Helens and the home meeting with Hull KR seven days later.
Meanwhile Scotland international McLelland was forced off during the Wakefield clash by a knee injury.
His loss is a big blow for Agar, who was already missing scrum-half Luke Gale and the versatile Liam Sutcliffe through injury. He started the Wakefield clash with hooker Kruise Leeming playing alongside Rob Lui in the halves.
“It seems a pretty serious injury and it’s likely we’ll miss him for the rest of the year,” said Agar.
McLelland, who has suffered a string of injury problems, is out of contract at the end of the season, has been linked with a return to Castleford Tigers next year.
The Pontefract-born 21-year-old came through the Academy there before a switch to rugby union with Edinburgh. Leeds signed him during the 2018 season.
“I feel for him,” added Agar.
“He had to be patient waiting for an opportunity and he got some last year, and he would have had more opportunities this season had it not been punctuated with numerous injuries and being stood down on Covid.
“Now he’s had a cruel way to finish his season as we’re coming into the business end of it.”
Leeds have agreed a one-year contract extension with backrower and Papua New Guinea captain Rhyse Martin, but centre Konrad Hurrell and prop King Vuniyayawa have turned down new deals, having been linked with St Helens and Salford Red Devils respectively.
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