Super League preview: Warrington Wolves v Leeds Rhinos
Last Updated: 05/07/13 9:20pm
The 2012 finalists go head-to-head once again on Friday as the high-flying Warrington Wolves play host to champions Leeds Rhinos at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Wolves drew first blood last season in retaining the Challenge Cup trophy with a 35-18 success over Leeds at Wembley before the Rhinos exacted revenge at Old Trafford with a 26-18 win in the Grand Final.
Leeds claimed first blood in the teams' only meeting in 2013 with the Rhinos running out 28-22 wins at Headingley in April with England international Ryan Hall helping himself to two tries.
However, the Wolves come into the contest with a five-point lead over Leeds, although the Rhinos have a game in hand, and sit just one point behind leaders Wigan Warriors.
Warrington are nearly at full strength as the experienced Chris Bridge is back in action while Ben Harrison is also nearing a return to first-team duty.
The Wolves have brought back prop Chris Hill, hooker Micky Higham and winger Joel Monaghan after they were rested against the Bulls but Richie Myler remains sidelined with a knee injury so Stefan Ratchford continues in the scrum-half role.
The Wolves brushed aside the Bradford Bulls last time out and while Leeds have a number of injuries to regulars their former head coach Tony Smith expects the Headingley youngsters to impress.
"Leeds have got some young, enthusiastic players in at the moment along with a reasonable number of international players so they'll be a really tough test for us," said Smith.
"We've had some great encounters with them over the last few years; some of which we've come out on top, some they have, so we are looking forward to it on Friday. A Friday evening at the Halliwell Jones against Leeds is a mouth-watering prospect for all concerned."
Leeds have named an unchanged 19-man squad to the tricky-looking trip across the M62 with teenager Alex Foster, who made his debut in last weekend's win at Widnes, retaining his place.
Kallum Watkins and Joel Moon returned to action from injury and suspension respectively against the Vikings while youngsters Jordan Baldwinson and Thomas Minns also have a chance of featuring.
Warrington Wolves: Atkins, C. Bridge, Briers, Carvell, Cooper, Currie, Grix, Higham, Hill, Hodgson, McCarthy, J. Monaghan, M. Monaghan, Morley, Ratchford, C. Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, Wood.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Burrow, McShane, Peacock, Ablett, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Keinhorst, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Minns, Baldwinson, Foster.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2013, round 21
Wakefield will be without stand-off Paul Sykes for six weeks after he suffered a fractured fibula against Widnes.
Stevo hailed Wakefield's defence after the Wildcats beat Widnes to record a fourth win on the spin.
Wakefield have the Super League play-offs in their sights once more after brushing aside Widnes 24-14.
- Wakefield see off Widnes
- Anderson upset over challenge
- Roby injury concern for Saints
- Sandercock relieved after win
- Brough luck for hurting Hull
- Wildcats v Vikings: Teams
- Laffranchi misses out
- Dragons do just enough
- Wigan hit back to stun Bulls
- Briers wins it for Wolves
- Hull KR v Salford: Teams
- Agar hails real Kirmond bonus
- Wellens eyes Saints momentum
- Dragons v Broncos: Teams
- Warriors v Bulls: Teams