Leeds Rhinos have suffered a triple blow ahead of their Super League Grand Final meeting with St Helens (Match winner – St Helens 1/2, Leeds Rhinos 17/10, tie 18/1) next week with Harry Newman, Aidan Sezer, and Morgan Gannon all ruled out.
The Rhinos (10/11 +4.5 – handicap 2-way) completed a remarkable turnaround in their season as they defeated Wigan Warriors 20-8 at the DW Stadium on Friday evening to seal their spot in the Grand Final.
In a campaign where there were genuine fears of relegation after the first few weeks, Rohan Smith has transformed their fortunes as they attempt to end St Helens’ domination in the Betfred Super League.
Two tries from James Bentley and one from Jarrod O’Connor saw the Rhinos overturn a 4-2 deficit at half time.
However, their task at Old Trafford has been made all the more difficult with the three absentees.
Newman had missed the past six weeks with a hamstring problem and a slower-than-expected recovery means he won’t be available for the Grand Final or the World Cup in autumn.
Sezer was on the receiving end of a high tackle from the Warriors’ John Bateman and has failed the concussion protocol, while Gannon has not recovered in time from a head injury assessment of his own.
On Sezer, coach Smith said: “I had a chat with our doctor who has been in conversation with the Super League chief medical officer and Aidan won’t be available this week.
“I believe the category one symptoms are the determining factor in terms of returning to play, whether that be in the game or the following week.
“He’s shattered. The good news is he felt great going into the dressing room after he got replaced.”
The Rhinos are looking to win their first Grand Final since 2017 when they defeated Castleford Tigers.