Leuluai back in the frame for Leeds Rhinos’ Widnes trip

Veteran prop Kylie Leuluai could be set to make his Leeds Rhinos return, two weeks ahead of schedule.

Leeds Rhinos v Bradford Bulls 1st aug 2014 Kylie Leuluai

Leuluai has not played since Rhinos’ defeat at Warrington Wolves on March 13, but has been named in their initial 19-man squad for Sunday’s trip to Widnes Vikings.

The 37-year-old has undergone shoulder surgery and was not expected to be available until the end of this month.

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Back-rower Stevie Ward, who missed last week’s draw at Huddersfield Giants due to an ankle injury, is also included in the 19.

Foward Josh Walters could make his first Rhinos appearance of the season, after playing on dual-registration for Hunslet Hawks and Kevin Sinfield, dropped from the side for the Huddersfield game, has retained his place in the 19.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan returned from a hamstring injury at Huddersfield but will miss out this weekend, aloing with young prop Robbie Mulhern.

Eamon O’Carroll and Danny Tickle drop out of Widnes’ squad, with Patrick Ah Van, Gil Dudson, Macgraff Leuluai and Matt Whitley all vying for a call-up.

Rhinos’ 19-man squad is: Hardaker, Watkins, Keinhorst, Moon, Handley, McGuire, Sutcliffe, Cuthbertson, Aiton, Peacock, Delaney, Ablett, S Ward, Burrow, Achurch, Singleton, Sinfield, Walters, K Leuluai.

Widnes coach Denis Betts will select from: Hanbury, Flynn, Marsh, Dean, Owens, Brown, Mellor, Manuokafoa, White, Gerrard, Clarkson, Galea, Isa, Heremaia, Joseph, Ah Van, Dudson, M Leuluai, Whitley.