Trio set for Rhinos debut
Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott has included all three new signings in his side to face Wakefield in the Heatshot Festive Challenge on Boxing Day at Headingley Carnegie.
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The game will be the first played on the new £1 million pitch that has been constructed in the close season and is guaranteed to go ahead with undersoil heating now reinstated at Headingley Carnegie.
New signings Joel Moon and Joe Vickery feature in an exciting looking backline whilst Mitch Achurch, who joined from NRL side Penrith Panthers in the close season, will make his debut off the bench.
The Rhinos are without their seven England internationals and Jamie Peacock, Kylie Leuluai, Stevie Ward and Richard Moore. Ward is still recovering from the shoulder injury picked up in the Grand Final whilst Moore is recovering from a hernia operation. However the Boxing Day team still includes five members of the Grand Final winning team with Paul McShane returning from his loan spell at Widnes last season to line up in the half backs with Danny McGuire.
Commenting on the squad McDermott said: "We are pleased that we are able to field such a strong team on Boxing Day and I am sure Wakefield will be doing likewise.
"This will be one of only two pre-season games we play, the other being Danny McGuire's testimonial against Bradford on 20th January, so it is an important fixture for us.
"As always the new players will be keen to make a good first impression and that is particularly true for Joe Vickery who has joined us on a three month trial from the Gold Coast Titans.
"He has impressed everyone so far with his ability and importantly his attitude and I am sure the Leeds fans will enjoy watching him play.
"The guys are looking forward to playing on the new pitch and I think it is a fantastic move for the club. We want our players to have the very best facilities and our pitch is now world class. We will have a lush playing surface on Boxing Day and that can only add to the excitement on the day," added McDermott.