Leeds Rhinos sign Wigan Warriors forward on loan as four players stood down with concussion

Aaron Bower
Sam Eseh

Sam Eseh in action for Wigan Warriors in 2024

Leeds Rhinos have announced the signing of Wigan Warriors forward Sam Eseh on a short-term loan deal after standing down four more players due to concussion protocol.

The Rhinos will be without Harry Newman, Ash Handley, Tom Holroyd and Sam Lisone for Friday night’s game against Leigh Leopards. The quartet have all been subject to concussion protocol after the Rhinos reviewed footage from Saturday’s defeat to Hull FC.

Leeds say they have “reiterated their commitment to the brain health of their players” and that they are “adopting the correct protocol in standing these players down”.

However, with Andy Ackers, James Bentley and Morgan Gannon also sidelined with concussion symptoms – Gannon will not play again this year – it means Leeds now have seven first-team players out with concussion.

That has led the Rhinos to move in the transfer market, with Eseh coming into the club on an initial short-term loan deal. He joined Wigan at the beginning of this season, and has spent time on loan at Castleford Tigers as he awaits an opportunity with the reigning Super League champions.

But he will almost certainly feature for Leeds on Friday night as they prepare to face the Leopards in a game which is crucial for their play-off hopes.

The Rhinos also tried to strike a deal to get Jake Connor from Huddersfield Giants on a short-term loan. Love Rugby League revealed last week how Connor was available for loan but with Huddersfield heading out to Perpignan this weekend, the Giants knocked back an approach from Leeds to take the England international on a two-week deal.

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