Rhinos v Rovers: Teams
A full-strength Leeds Rhinos open their Super League title defence against Hull KR at Headingley Carnegie on Friday.
Last Updated: 03/02/12 12:14pm
Leeds Rhinos are at full strength for the opening game of their Super League title defence against Hull KR at Headingley Carnegie on Friday night.
Kevin Sinfield will lead the Rhinos out for his 400th appearance for the club, while props Darrell Griffin and Richard Moore are poised to make their debuts.
Griffin and Moore are joined by 13 members of last season's Grand Final-winning team. Ben Jones-Bishop and Ian Kirke are the only ones on duty at Old Trafford to miss out.
New Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock has included new signings Shannon McDonnell, David Hodgson, Lincoln Withers, Micky Paea, Graeme Horne, Constantine Mika and Keal Carlile in his initial 19-man squad.
Hooker Josh Hodgson has also made the cut after recovering from an ankle injury.
Michael Dobson, making his 100th appearance for the Robins, will captain the side in the absence of Ben Galea, who hurt his knee in a pre-season friendly and is likely to miss three months.
Stand-off Blake Green is also sidelined, in his case by a blood clot that could mean he has to sit out the entire campaign.
"That's disappointing but it means two players get an opportunity they wouldn't have got," said Sandercock.
"I'm hoping those boys put their hands up and warrant their selection.
"As a team, we're as ready as we'll ever be. Obviously it's not going to be easy.
"I think they've got 10 players that have represented their country and we have one so certainly we're up against it. But we've prepared as hard as we can and hopefully we'll be competitive."
Sinfield, who has scored in each of Leeds' last 41 matches going back to August 2010, says his side will not be underestimating their opponents.
"I expect them to be very good," said Sinfield. "They have a new coach and new players who are going to want to impress.
"I've seen some footage from the Hull derby and they played very well. I expect a really tough game.
"It's a great start for us being at home. I can't wait to get the season started."
Leeds won last season's corresponding fixture 44-14 but Rovers did enjoy a 38-28 success when the sides met at Craven Park.
Leeds squad: Webb, Watkins, Hardaker, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, L. Smith, Delaney, Bailey, Clarkson, Hauraki, Griffin, Moore
Hull KR squad: McDonnell, Hall, D. Hodgson, Clinton, Withers, Webster, Dobson, Wheeldon, Taylor, Lovegrove, J. Hodgson, Paea, Horne, Murrell, Mika, Netherton, Cox, Welham, Carlile