Greg Eastwood will finally make his Leeds debut on Friday, more than a year after he was originally scheduled to do so. The Kiwi forward, who played in New Zealand's 2008 World Cup-winning team, was meant to join the Rhinos the following season, but the move was held up by visa problems.
Eastwood arrived in time for this year's pre-season games, but was kept out by a wrist injury suffered in last autumn's Four Nations tournament He has now fully recovered and will be in the line-up for the Rhinos as they take on the Crusaders at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground in the first Super League match of the season.
The Welsh club, playing at Wrexham for the first time, are hoping for a full house of 15,500, which will set a new record for any rugby league game at the Racecourse Ground and for any Crusaders home game.
Crusaders have confirmed Ryan O'Hara, the Australian prop who was their ever-present player of the year last season, as their new captain. The 29-year-old takes over from fellow Australian, Jace Van Dijk.
Bradford's new scrum-half, Matt Orford, will play for them for the first time in their last pre-season friendly at Hull KR. Orford has been in the country since Christmas, but the Bulls' coach, Steve McNamara, has held him back because the bad weather had prevented him training on grass.
Salford's Karl Fitzpatrick has been told that his sending off in the recent friendly at Widnes will not be considered by a disciplinary hearing until next week.
There could be an inter-services confrontation in the Challenge Cup second round, following the draw on HMS Victory yesterday. A win for the RAF against Warrington Wizards in their postponed first round tie will set up a tie with the Army. The Navy, who staged the draw, will be at home to West London Sharks or Nottingham Outlaws.Reuse content