Leeds Rhinos to proceed with caution over Luke Gale and Kyle Eastmond

Leeds Rhinos head coach Richard Agar is “fairly hopeful” both Luke Gale and Kyle Eastmond will be ready for their Super League opener against Wakefield Trinity.

The half-back duo will both miss tomorrow’s pre-season game at Huddersfield Giants but Agar says they are both improving.

Former England scrum-half Eastmond joined Rhinos last week following 10 years in rugby union and captain Gale is in light training after tearing a pectoral muscle early in pre-season.

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Leeds are without four half-backs for the contest given Rob Lui and Callum McLelland are also sidelined, but overseas signings Zane Tetevano and King Vuniyayawa will both feature.

Leeds Rhinos new signing Kyle Eastmond (Picture: Phil Daly/SWPix.com)

“Kyle and Luke are both coming along nicely,” said Agar.

“But we want to get those guys ready for round one and we’ve still got some important training time on the field for them.

“They are just not quite ready to play yet.”

Agar added: “With Luke, it was a 12-week injury and the (Wakefield) game is just past 11 weeks.

“The question was how much training we could get into him.

“He has been able to keep running, but in terms of getting full range of movement, being able to pass the ball and tackle and get into contact, we knew we wouldn’t get much time to assess that or work around it.

“But he has done really well, he joined in most of the stuff we did in training last week and we have still got two weeks left.

“We will be safety-first, but we are fairly hopeful and the same with Kyle. He has not played for a long time and we have to be careful not to overload him with physical stuff and information.

“But he is in decent nick and the early signs from Kyle have been really good.”

Australian prop Matt Prior will not play tomorrow, Alex Mellor is suspended, Jack Walker and Harry Newman are on the long-term injury list and Tom Holroyd and Alex Sutcliffe – who both had surgery in the off-season – miss out, along with Konrad Hurrell.

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