James Bentley wants to put bans behind him ahead of Saints return

James Bentley
Photo: Mark Cosgrove/News Images

James Bentley is hoping to put a stuttering start to his Leeds career behind him when he visits former club St Helens on Thursday night.

Bentley, 24, has made just eight appearances for the Rhinos since signing from Saints in the off-season.

He has picked up three separate suspensions but returns to the field in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Thursday.

Bentley told Leeds TV: “I can’t wait, it’s been a frustrating five weeks.

“It was one fixture I looked for straight away, especially going back there. Really looking forward to it and playing against some familiar faces.

“It’s going to be a tough game, it always is against Saints. It’s about us doing all the little stuff and building off that and when we get the opportunities, we’ve just got to take them.”

Putting bans behind him

James Bentley was sent off on his Leeds debut against Warrington, earning himself a four-match ban.

He then picked up a two-match suspension following a yellow card against Castleford on Easter Monday.

His latest spell on the sidelines came as a result of a three-match ban.

That was handed down to him for a tackle in the 24-6 win over Wakefield on May 20.

Weekends off due to the Challenge Cup final and international break has prolonged his time out of action.

It means he has missed nine of Leeds’ 16 games this season.

But the Ireland international is keen to move on as Leeds look to build some momentum and push for the play-offs.

He added: “I want to put all that behind me what’s happened and focus on my game and do the little stuff that’ll make me the player I need to be.

“A few of the lads had a rest and freshen up.

“We’ve pretty much got everyone back fit and back from suspensions so it’s been good training as a full squad and it’s driving us to play as best as we can.”

With Aidan Sezer and Kruise Leeming back in the squad, the only frontline absentee for Leeds is full-back Jack Walker.

Young forwards Tom Holroyd and Muizz Mustapha are both sidelined with long-term bans picked up while out on loan.

Saints are missing Mark Percival and Lewis Dodd through injury, while back-rower Sione Mata’utis banned.

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About James Gordon 7067 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.

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