LEEDS RHINOS head coach Brian McDermott admits former England stand-off Kevin Brown is the man to watch out for as his side head to Widnes Vikings tomorrow.
The ex-Huddersfield Giants captain made Super League’s Dream Team last year and has been Widnes’ most potent player this time around.
He was missing when Leeds won 38-6 at Headingley back in February, a game which was level 6-6 at the break and saw Rhinos only truly storm home in the final quarter.
“It was really tight in the first half when we played them at home,” McDermott recalled.
“If I remember rightly, they played within themselves that day.
“They missed Kevin Brown and I think their coach Denis Betts will have come away thinking they needed to give a better account of themselves.
“But equally it was tough and tight for the first 40 and I imagine with Kevin Brown being back in the team they are going to be a decent side.
“They are a good footballing team, they know how to put a play on and how to find a pass,” he said.
“We will need to be switched on for a whole number of reasons and I think defensively we need to be very, very good.”
Super League leaders Rhinos are in search of a return to winning ways after losing against Warrington Wolves and drawing at Huddersfield last week.
But they could be bolstered by the availability of veteran prop Kylie Leuluai who has not played since suffering a biceps injury at the end of March.
He has also undergone shoulder surgery and was not expected to be fit until the end of May but is included in McDermott’s 19-man squad and a decision on whether he will play will be made after today’s final training session.
Stevie Ward (ankle) also returns while Kevin Sinfield and Josh Walters are pressing their claims while Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Robbie Mulhern drop out.
Former Hull forwards Eamon O’Carroll and Danny Tickle are missing for Widnes but Patrick Ah Van, Gil Dudson, Macgraff Leuluai and Matt Whitley are all back in contention for a side who are second bottom but have lost just once at home all year.