SL preview: London B v Leeds (Thu)

Leeds visit the capital on Thursday in what will be an emotional fixture against bottom-side London.

Rhinos’ former coach Graham Murray sadly died on Sunday, and this is the Yorkshire side’s first game since.

It is perhaps fitting that the Broncos be the opposition, as they were also the side who Murray’s Leeds overcame to win the Challenge Cup in 1999.

London coach Tony Rea has made just one change to the squad named for last weekend’s humiliating semi-final against Wigan. On-loan Ryan Shaw replaces on-loan Rhodri Lloyd who misses out with a knee injury.

Rea said: “The team need to restore some pride in the shirt and themselves in a game against the champions. This game represents a challenge that they need to stand up to.”

Brian McDermott’s Rhinos welcome back Kallum Watkins and Ryan Bailey, who return after ankle and thumb injuries respectively. Thomas Minns and Brad Singleton are the players to miss out, but hooker Paul McShane has been called in as cover.

As a mark of respect to Graham Murray, the Leeds players will wear black armbands during the game, and there will be a minute’s silence beforehand.

London 19-man squad: Bryant, Colbon, Cook, Dorn, Fairbank, Fisher, Kaufusi, Lee, Krasniqi, Melling, McMeeken, O’Callaghan, Robertson, Rodney, Sarginson, Shaw, Soward, Woodburn-Hall, Wheeldon.

Leeds 19-man squad: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Moore, Keinhorst, Sutcliffe, Foster, Duckworth.

Prediction: Leeds will have no problem getting the win here. Away win.

Stats:

2013 meeting – Leeds 30-6 London Broncos (SLR12, 12/04/13)

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield needs one appearance to reach 500 for his career.

He will become the first player to reach 500 career appearances whilst playing exclusively in the summer era.

Super League summary:

(including Harlequins, 2006-2011)

London won 9

Leeds won 28

London highest score: 40-16 (H, 1997) (also widest margin)

Leeds highest score: 64-6 (H, 2005) (Widest margin: 60-0, A, 2006)

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