Leeds Rhinos set for double boost as they aim to heal Catalans Dragons wounds

Brodie Croft and Harry Newman are on track to be fit to face St Helens in a timely boost for a Leeds Rhinos outfit that are still searching for their best form in 2024.

Former Man of Steel Croft sat out the 26-0 defeat at Catalans Dragons with a minor groin strain, while a back problem has kept star centre Newman out for three games.

The double return eases an injury crisis that continues to rob Rohan Smith of the services of the likes of Tom Holroyd, James Bentley and Paul Momirovski.

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"Brodie is back in full training with a view to playing this weekend," said Rhinos boss Smith, who is poised to hand on-loan winger Matty Russell his debut on Friday night.

"He's a top-quality player and has played well this year – he's been amongst our most consistent players.

"He's a quality competitor, a good all-round player and a key part of what we're doing. It'll be great to have him back.

"Harry and his back have settled right down. He's been in full training this week as well.

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"As long as everything pulls up OK from today's session, he'll be back in the mix on Friday."

Harry Newman is poised to return for the Rhinos. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)Harry Newman is poised to return for the Rhinos. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)
Harry Newman is poised to return for the Rhinos. (Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

Leeds find themselves outside the play-off positions ahead of the trip to the Totally Wicked Stadium after an unconvincing start to the Super League season.

Smith, who remains under pressure following the nilling in Perpignan, expects an improved performance against the second-placed Saints.

"We've got a different line-up with a few key players back, which certainly makes a difference," he added.

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"We've got to play better for longer. We battled hard against Catalans but didn't have enough clinical finishes to our sets and let ourselves down at the back end of the game which meant the scoreboard blew out a bit.

"Everyone is still hurting from that. We've got to start again and play a good, hard, smart, skilful game to test a team that don't get beaten at home very often."

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