The Super League and World Club Champions are currently languishing outside the play offs in 9th place on the table after a heavy defeat at Warrington last week, while Wakefield are aiming for their fourth win in a row. The Rhinos preparations have also been hampered by the fact that they had 10 players on International duty this weekend.
Brian McDermott said: ‘It has been unusual and we have had to take a different approach in training as we have got quite a lot of blokes involved with the England teams. We have had less numbers and a couple of members of staff are away on international duty as well so we have adapted things and changed things through the week and it has been good and we have been able to do some things that you can do with smaller groups as you don’t have to cater for the usual big numbers so it has been different to normal weeks.’
‘It’s good that our lads are playing for England and I think the Exiles is a good concept and while we at Leeds might need to bite the bullet a bit and have a bit of a tough run, it was great for all the other England lads who need that element of competition together.’
‘All the players have talked about backing up before they left, which is great and really encouraging. Given where we are in the league the players probably do need to back up and I am not sure we will be resting too many. We will have to look at who comes through and we were not able to start planning until after the England games.’
‘The reality is the players won’t recover in time for Monday’s game. It’s usually Sunday teatime after a Saturday game that they start stiffening up and on Monday they are pretty tired so it will be challenging for them. We then have a game against Castleford on Sunday and I would think that week and the week after will probably be when we start feeling it.’
‘Wakefield have got some momentum and have some things working for them so we will have to be wary of that. I think everyone comes to Headingley looking for a win and I think Wakefield will come on Monday with their tails up. They are not making so many errors at the moment and they had a fantastic fightback against Hull. There is no magical formula to winning rugby league at times and it’s often a case of don’t make so many errors and take your chances when you get them and that is what Wakefield are doing at the moment’.
The un-televised game kicks off at 8pm tonight at Headingley Carnegie stadium.