Super League team news and talking points: Leeds Rhinos vs Hull KR live on Sky Sports | Rugby League News

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Konrad Hurrell returns for Leeds vs Hull KR on Friday, live on Sky Sports Arena

Konrad Hurrell returns for Leeds vs Hull KR on Friday, live on Sky Sports Arena

We look at team news and what is being said ahead of all four of Friday’s Super League clashes, including Leeds vs Hull KR live on Sky Sports

Leeds Rhinos vs Hull KR (Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm kick-off)

Leeds coach Richard Agar says his team are already in play-off mode ahead of Friday night’s final game of the regular Super League season against Hull KR at Headingley.

The match is shaping up as a winner-takes-all contest in the battle for the last play-off spot but both teams could find themselves in the top six before kick-off if seventh-placed Castleford lose to Warrington in their last game on Thursday night.

“Of course we’ll be watching the game tonight and see how that unravels but we’re preparing for a must-win game against a good team in front of our fans,” Agar said.

Leeds head coach Richard Agar says the said are already in playoff mode

Leeds head coach Richard Agar says the said are already in playoff mode

“We’re going out tomorrow to take care of it ourselves regardless of what happens tonight. You can’t rely on other things around you going your way.

“We actually feel like we’re in play-off territory now and the season almost starts again.”

Hull KR’s former Leeds coach Tony Smith says the Castleford result will have “absolutely zero influence” on his team’s preparations. “I don’t agree there’s dead rubbers,” Smith said.

“We want to win and we want to perform well every week, otherwise we’re not enhancing our reputation or our badge. Every week is important.”

A top-six finish would represent a remarkable achievement for the Robins after they ended up with the wooden spoon in 2020 but Smith says he never had any doubt his team would be competitive this year.

“When we were in pre-season, before a ball was kicked, I thought we had a shot of doing OK this year,” he said.

“I knew they had the right sort of material about them, grit and desire.

Hull KR head coach Tony Smith says he always believed his side would be in the mix

Hull KR head coach Tony Smith says he always believed his side would be in the mix

“We convinced everybody else to change their minds. I would have been surprised had we not improved a whole lot.

“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we’re at least knocking on the door. We’ll end up where we deserve to end up.”

Leeds welcome back from injury departing duo Rob Lui and Konrad Hurrell, while second rower James Donaldson returns after missing the defeat at St Helens through illness and 17-year-old Morgan Gannon is also back after being rested last week.

Hull KR coach Tony Smith makes two changes to the team that beat Castleford after losing Greg Minikin and Ryan Hall to season-ending injuries.

Brad Takairangi is set to move to centre with Jimmy Keinhorst taking over on the wing. Prop Korbin Sims is set to return after missing the last four games with a lower leg injury.

Last season: Hull KR 16-41 Leeds, Leeds 52-10 Hull KR.

Last six league matches: Leeds WWWLWL, Hull KR WLLLWW.

Top try-scorers: Brad Dwyer & Kruise Leeming (Leeds) 10; Ryan Hall (Hull KR) 15.

Top goal-scorers: Rhyse Martin (Leeds) 77; Jordan Abdull (Hull KR) 40.

Wigan Warriors vs Catalans Dragons (7.45pm kick-off)

The rest of the games in round 25 are already dead rubbers but Wigan will look to use their clash with leaders Catalans Dragons as an opportunity to hone their play-off bid.

The Warriors have kept their opponents scoreless in two of their last three weeks but have scored just seven tries in their last five matches and coach Adrian Lam knows his side will need to improve their attack if they are to make it back to the Grand Final.

“The big games are coming along and we’re in a pretty good place,” Lam said.

“We’ve had an issue with our attack which I liken to a scorer in football. We’re in front but missing the goals at the moment.

Head coach Adrian Lam believes Wigan Warriors are in a good place

Head coach Adrian Lam believes Wigan Warriors are in a good place

“As long as we keep getting in that position to score points, I think things can only get better from that and that will be the focus in the next couple of weeks moving into the big games.”

While the Catalans bring back the players they rested a week ago, Lam will take the opportunity to rotate his squad ahead of next Thursday’s elimination play-off.

“It’s a really tricky one,” he said. “I know that Catalans rested a few players last week as well and, when you’ve played 24 games, it’s a tough one to make sure we find a good balance between being able to put in a strong performance but also to potentially freshen up players.”

With fourth place secured, Wigan’s Lam opts to rest Liam Marshall, Brad Singleton and Morgan Smithies. Willie Isa is back from suspension, prop Tony Clubb earns a recall and there is a place for winger James McDonnell following his recall from a loan spell with York.

Catalans captain Benjamin Garcia makes his return from a two-month absence with a broken forearm and coach McNamara brings back Samisoni Langi, Julian Bousquet, Mike McMeeken, Joel Tomkins, Sam Kasiano and Sam Tomkins after they all sat out the defeat by Huddersfield.

Last season: Catalans Dragons 12-28 Wigan.

Last six league matches: Wigan LLLWLW, Catalans Dragons LWWWWL.

Top try-scorers: Jake Bibby (Wigan) 13; Tom Davies (Catalans Dragons) 14.

Top goal-scorers: Harry Smith (Wigan) 31; James Maloney (Catalans Dragons) 106

Salford Red Devils vs St Helens (7.45pm kick-off)

Salford’s veteran half-back Kevin Brown is in line to make one last appearance before retirement while Krisnan Inu starts at centre in place of Joe Burgess.

Forwards Seb Ikahihifo and Pauli Pauli are back in contention, along with hooker Connor Aspey, who hopes to make his first appearance of the season.

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf has stand-off Jonny Lomax back from injury and also recalls prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook but Mark Percival and Sione Mata’utia are injured.

Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, James Roby, Morgan Knowles and Joe Batchelor are all rested and Lachlan Coote is suspended so Wolf has called academy youngsters Jonathan Bennison, Shay Martyn, Taylor Pemberton and Reece Sumner into a 20-strong squad.

Last season: Salford 12-10 St Helens, St Helens 48-8 Salford.

Last six league matches: Salford WLLWLL, St Helens LWWWLW.

Top try-scorers: Ken Sio (Salford) 17; Jack Welsby (St Helens) 13.

Top goal-scorers: Krisnan Inu (Salford) 41; Lachlan Coote (St Helens) 72.

Wakefield Trinity vs Hull FC (7.45pm kick off)

Wakefield have lost winger Lee Kershaw with an ACL knee injury but loose forward Joe Westerman returns for his last game for the club, while second rower Jay Pitts is also back and there is a place in Willie Poching’s initial squad for hooker Harry Bowes.

Ben McNamara is set to replace the injured Marc Sneyd as Hull look to finish a disappointing season on a high.

Coach Brett Hodgson calls up centre Marcus Walker, who made his debut in August, and could hand other debuts to Jude Ferreira and Jacob Hookem.

Last season: Hull 26-23 Wakefield, Wakefield 26-27 Hull.

Last six league matches: Wakefield WLWWWL, Hull LWLLLL.

Top try-scorers: Ollie Greensmith (Wakefield) 8; Adam Swift (Hull) 13.

Top goal-scorers: Mason Lino (Wakefield) 71; Marc Sneyd (Hull) 62.

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