This evening see Quins RL travel to Headingley to face the Leeds Rhinos. As the biggest club side in British rugby league, Leeds have often attracted the tag of underachievers, but there is no doubting that the side contains some of the best talent in Super League.
The Rhinos have won four out of six Super League games this terms, but were very lucky to come away with a win from last weekend’s clash with Wakefield with the benefit of some dubious officiating. They will be clear favourites against Quins who have lost their last three games.
Kiwi international fullback Brent Webb returns to the Leeds side following injury, competing a back line packed with top class experience. Great Britain stalwart Keith Senior is likely to partner Kiwi international Clinton Toopi in the centres, with former Manly flyer Scott Donald out wide. In the halves Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire form a formidable pairing.
Up front the Rhinos are led by Great Britain skipper Jamie Peacock, who alongside the hardworking Gareth Ellis provide the driving force behind the pack. Club captain Kevin Sinfield forms a key link with the halves, whilst Matt Diskin is a fine distributor at dummy half.
Quins are still likely to be without former Kangaroo Richard Villasanti, who is still gaining match fitness in reserve grade following off-season knee service. Winger Jon Wells is also reported as dropping out due to a bout of flu and will be replaced by Andy Smith who will make his first start since joining from Bradford.
Brian McDermott will be well aware of the capabilities of the Leeds side, having been assistant to counterpart Tony Smith before joining Quins last season, and will be looking for improvements from his side following a disappointing run.