Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity: Opportunity knocks to make big, early impression
Trinity coach Willie Poching is keen to see trialists Thomas Minns, who was with Featherstone Rovers last season and John Davetanivalu, a former London Scottish rugby union wing, in match action, along with young centre Corey Hall after his move from Leeds on a two-year contract last month.
Other fringe players will also be on duty and Poching insisted: “We are trying to expose some young kids to experiences like playing in front of a big crowd at Headingley.”
He said: “As long and tough as our season is, there may be times we need to call them into our group and our squad to play.
“Hopefully the experience they get on Boxing Day helps them further down the line.”
Leeds coach Richard Agar has named a strong squad, including off-season signings Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer and James Bentley.
Teenager Jack Sinfield, son of former Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield, could also feature.
Rhinos’ player of the year Mikolaj Oledzki is set to start in the front-row for his first game since making his England debut against France in October.
Oledzki’s form last term established him as one of the top front-rowers in Super League, but he stressed more improvement is needed.
“The key is to keep wanting more and more, to be better as a player on the field as well as off and always striving to achieve,” said Oledzki.
“As a team and individuals we really want to win some silverware and get back to the top – top-four finish, top-two and start competing for the trophies.
“That is the goal for next year and we’ll all put 110 per cent in to give ourselves the best shot.”
Sunday’s game has been made all-ticket, with a crowd limit of 9,999, to avoid the need for proof of vaccination status or a negative Covid test on entry to the stadium.