Super League: Catalan Dragons v Leeds Rhinos preview
Last Updated: 27/02/14 5:46pm
Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield has recovered from injury and looks set to lead his team in Friday's trip to face Catalans Dragons.
The England captain hobbled off the field with an ankle problem during last week's impressive home win against Warrington and was initially ruled out for both the trip to Perpignan and the Rhinos' match away at Huddersfield on March 7.
However, delighted coach Brian McDermott said: "Kev recovered really well over the weekend.
"It was a reasonable twist there and a roll of his ankle. But he's responded really well to treatment and Kev is frantically doing everything he can to try and get it right for Friday.
"Our initial findings after the game meant I honestly thought it would be two weeks but he's got a chance for Friday."
Sinfield has scored in all 19 matches between Leeds and the Dragons since 2006. Stand-off Liam Sutcliffe, who impressed many when deputising for the injured Danny McGuire last season, has been added to the squad as cover.
The Rhinos did the Super League double over Friday's opponents in 2013, producing a memorable performance to win 27-12 in Perpignan at Easter, before a hard-fought 20-12 success at Headingley in Round 26.
The head-to-head between the clubs has the Rhinos ahead with 15 wins including play-off meetings, to the French club's four and the home side will have to be at their best if they are to topple the former champions.
Catalan coach Laurent Frayssinous is under pressure after defeats in both their matches so far and selected a 19-man squad that excludes seven regular first-teamers.
Vincent Duport, Scott Dureau, Ben Pomeroy and Damien Cardace all miss out due to injuries, while Olivier Elima and Julian Bousquet are both serving bans. Kiwi international Louis Anderson, who arrived in Perpignan on Thursday, will not be fit for the game.
All of that means that Frayssinous has had to recall Mickael Simon, Jean-Philippe Baile and Frédéric Vaccari into the squad for what will be their seasonal debuts.
Dragons: Webb, Escaré, Pryce, Oldfield, Bosc, Henderson, Lima, Taia, Mounis, Maria, Pelissier, Whitehead, Millard, Simon, Fakir, Paea, Baitieri, Baile, Vaccari
Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield (c), Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Clarkson, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton
Kick-off is at 7pm in France but you can see all the action from Stade Gilbert Brutus on Sky Sports 1 HD at 10pm.
First Utility Super League
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 Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield 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 2014, round three
Hull KR centre Kris Welham has been charged with a grade A offence of head-butting Castleford full-back Luke Dorn.
Catalan Dragons hooker Ian Henderson has been ruled out for up to three months with a broken forearm.
Lee Radford was left to reflect on his side's poor first-half showing as Hull went down 18-16 at Warrington.
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