Super League: Leeds Rhinos' Brian McDermott happy to rotate star players
Last Updated: 26/03/14 9:04am
Brian McDermott: Happy resting key personnel over a course of a long season
Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott insists he is happy resting key personnel now and again in a bid to maintain their form over the season.
The Rhinos have started the new Super League campaign strongly and with a near fully-fit squad to choose from McDermott has already been giving players a game off.
Winger Ryan Hall was left out of Leeds' home win over Widnes while Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield were both given a rare game off last Thursday against London Broncos.
Leeds tackle St Helens on Friday live on Sky Sports and McDermott insists resting players ahead of 'huge' games is no guarantee they will claim the points.
However, he does hope that over the course of a gruelling Super League campaign that the odd rest game here and there will ensure they retain the winning habit throughout.
"I have never been able to rest Kevin since I've been in charge," McDermott told the YEP. "He has been stood down for a game here and there because of injury, but not rested.
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"I haven't been able to rest JP too many times and certainly there's been no chance to rest the outside-backs before.
"You might not see a benefit in the immediate short-term - resting players last week is no guarantee we are going to win on Friday - but hopefully it will be a benefit to us in the long-term, over the course of the season.
"You don't necessarily get to a certain point in the season and say 'I am not going to rest players after this'. I would look at resting players before a huge game.
"Should we make quarter-finals or semi-finals, should I have the ability to rest players there is no guarantee I will do that, but I will if I think it's the right thing to do."