Leeds primed for “three Easters”

Leeds coach Brian McDermott is confident his side can handle an increasing fixture backlog as they hunt for a third successive Super League title.

The Rhinos saw their game with Wakefield at the weekend twice called off, and they now face the challenge of fitting it in to their busy schedule.

With a game against Widnes, called off due to Leeds’ World Club Challenge commitments, already scheduled for the Monday of the international weekend, it is likely the champions will have to double up on another round of Super League, unless they and Wakefield suffer early exits from the Challenge Cup.

The Easter period often brings with it moans from coaches about their players playing twice within four or five days.

But McDermott said: “The players are in good nick, so, while it’s not ideal and you wouldn’t plan for it, it’s not the worst thing in the world.

“We’ve effectively got three Easters as we’ve got three lots of doubling up to do.

“But this squad has played in a lot of games and we’re affected internationally more than most clubs so we’re used to this type of situation and we get on with it.”

Leeds take on Widnes on Monday 17th June, just three days after many of their squad are expected to have taken part in England‘s test against the Exiles.

The two weekends freed up for Challenge Cup action are 13/14th July and the 27/28th, but will only become available if both sides are knocked out either in round four or the quarter-finals.

Leeds haven’t lost a regular round Challenge Cup tie for four years, having appeared in the last three Wembley finals.

Even if both sides do exit before or at the quarter-finals stage, it would only leave two weeks to then arrange the re-scheduled Super League game, and Wakefield are keen to get something in stone sooner rather than later, given it’s typically one of their biggest home games of the season.

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