Stevie Ward cleared to play for Leeds Rhinos in Grand Final
Last Updated: 07/10/17 5:24pm
Leeds Rhinos forward Stevie Ward has been cleared to play in Saturday's Betfred Super League Grand Final just a week after suffering a dislocated shoulder.
Ward sustained the injury the Rhinos' semi-final victory over Hull FC last Friday, with doctors unable to pop his shoulder back in until the following morning.
Having missed the 2012 and 2015 Grand Finals due to injury, Leeds head coach Brian McDermott said he would give Ward as long as possible to prove his fitness, and the 23-year-old has been cleared to take his place in the Rhinos' 19-man squad.
"It's the toughest thing I've had to face," Ward told Sky Sports News.
"The physical pain of the shoulder being out for 10 hours, and the painkillers weren't touching it, but I also had to face the fact that I might have to move on.
"It got that serious. I was in such pain and in such a bad way.
"I got over the Saturday and Sunday, brought myself around and thought, this is one last shot to make it out on the field and do it for the lads. I didn't want to miss that.
"It's opposite ends of the spectrum. I'm just so grateful to be involved in this atmosphere."
Ward will line up alongside club legends Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow for the final time at a sold-out Old Trafford, with the game live on Sky Sports Arena from 5pm.
McGuire will join Hull KR next season while Burrow is calling time on his career.
"I think it will be something that will hit me afterwards," said McGuire, who will be hoping to win his eighth Super League ring.
"I've been here since I was 12 years old and to be at one place for such a long time, you don't really see it much now.
"I've loved every minute and I've got some real good memories. Hopefully there is still another chapter to go on Saturday night.
"I'm more excited for it really. It will be emotional. It's a great week is Grand Final week, you've got to soak it all up and enjoy it and not get too distracted."
Leeds Rhinos: Carl Ablett, Tom Briscoe, Rob Burrow, Adam Cuthbertson, Brett Ferres, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Ryan Hall Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jimmy Keinhorst, Danny McGuire (c), Joel Moon, Anthony Mullally, Matt Parcell, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe, Jack Walker, Stevie Ward, Kallum Watkins.