Leeds Rhinos’ hopes of retaining their Grand Final crown have been dealt a significant blow after Kallum Watkins was ruled out for the season with an ACL injury.
The club captain suffered the injury in the club’s defeat to Castleford at Magic Weekend and will miss the next eight months of action.
Watkins, 27, has been one of Leeds’ top performers, but will now also miss out on international duty with England as they take on the Kiwis in Denver before the end of season Test.
“I’m deeply disappointed to be missing the rest of the season,” he said.
“However, I will be doing everything possible to make sure I return ready to kick on from this injury. I know I am in the best possible hands with our medical team at the Rhinos and, in the meantime, I will be backing the boys from the sidelines and giving them every support for the rest of the campaign.”
Leeds have recalled Jimmy Keinhorst from his loan at Widnes as a result of the injury.