Three Leeds Rhinos signings set to make Boxing Day debuts

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar has confirmed that three of his new signings will make debuts in the Boxing Day friendly with Wakefield Trinity.

The first of five matches in a busy Rhinos pre-season schedule sees Wakefield Trinity come to Headingley for the Wetherby Whaler festive clash.

Leeds have made four signings over the off-season, and Agar has revealed that halfbacks Aidan Sezer and Blake Austin will start against Wakefield alongside forward James Bentley.

However, David Fasitu’a is unlikely to feature in the team, which will be announced in full on Monday, having only recently arrived in the UK following his move from New Zealand Warriors.

“David Fusitu’a got off the plane (last) weekend so it’s fair to say after 7-10 days it’s unlikely he’ll be up to speed enough to throw him into this one,” said Agar. “Sezer, Bentley, Austin will all play, will all start.”

Agar, who revealed that Leeds currently have one Covid case in their playing squad, also said that the only player definitely ruled out of the Wakefield match was prop Matt Prior, as he plans to field all his top players if possible.

“We’re running with as strong as we can a starting team and really every fit and available player that hasn’t got any bumps, bruises or strains will play with the exception probably of Matt Prior,” he said.

“Given where he is at and what we want to do with his pre-season, having a game of rugby at this point in his pre-season is not really going to be too beneficial for him.

“He’s the only one in terms of fitness and availability we won’t be considering for selection. Everyone else who is fit will be considered for selection.

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