Watkins’ Leeds return set for Sunday

Kallum Watkins will make his long-awaited comeback in Leeds’ pre-season game against Castleford.

The England centre hasn’t played for seven months after suffering an ACL injury, coincidentally against Leeds’ opponents, Castleford.

But he has been cleared to play a part in the club’s game against the Tigers, which will act as his Testimonial game.

New head coach Dave Furner has named his strongest possible side, with marquee players Trent Merrin and Konrad Hurrell set to make their first appearances for the club.

Brothers Luke and Tom Briscoe are out injured but will be fit for the opening Super League clash against Warrington, although fellow injured duo Carl Ablett and Dom Crosby may not make it in time for the season opener.

Cas will also welcome back a selection of long-term absentees, with Alex Foster, Greg Minikin, Jake Trueman and Matt Cook all making their returns.

Jordan Rankin is also set to debut following his move from Huddersfield.

Rhinos: Walker, Watkins, Hurrell, Handley, Lolohea, Myler, Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Merrin, Ward, Dwyer, Sutcliffe, Ferres, Peteru, Oledzki, Jones-Buchanan, Smith, Donaldson, Newman

Tigers: Aston, Clare, Clark, Cook, Eden, Foster, Massey, Mata’utia, McMeeken, McShane, Millington, Milner, Minikin, Moors, Rankin, Sene-Lefao, Shenton, Trueman, Turner, Watts.