28th February 2019, 12:08 | super_league
The Rhinos have plenty of catching up to do after winning just one of their opening four matches, which were all played away to allow work to continue uninterrupted on re-developing Headingley.
The stadium is fast taking shape and scrum-half Richie Myler says the Rhinos players are looking forward to playing in it for the first time in 2019 when Wakefield Trinity are the visitors on Friday night.
“It’s nice to be back at home,” said Myler, whose first season with Leeds coincided with the demolition of both the north and south stands.
“It will be fabulous when it all gets open. I remember playing here in front of the old stands and it was a very intimidating place to come and play. I’m sure it will get back to its fortress.
“When we got the fixtures out, we knew it was going to be four tough games to start the season off and I think we’re building quite nicely.
“We’d like to have had a couple more wins under our belt but we’re all buying into where we want to get to eventually.”
The Rhinos’ solitary victory was against Salford Red Devils but Wakefield coach Chris Chester has been impressed by their performances in defeat at the hands of last season’s league leaders St Helens and Grand Finalists Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves.
“They’ve had it tough in the first four rounds but they’ve been in every single game and last week (at St Helens), they were very unlucky not to come away with the win,” Chester said.
“They look like they’ve got a lot more structure than they’ve had in recent years and they’re exciting to watch.
“We know there’s not a great deal in the two sides. It’s a local derby and our boys will be up for it.”
Friday’s game will mark the home debuts of Leeds’ trio of NRL imports, Konrad Hurrell, Trent Merrin and Tui Lolohea, who have all started to catch the eye after an inauspicious start at Warrington.
Hurrell and Merrin at the club’s marquee signings while Lolohea is starting to have a big impact, according to his half-back partner.
Myler said: “I think he’s really finding his feet. It’s a different competition to what he’s used to and it was always going to take time for him to bed in.
“But you’ve seen the skills he’s got and the talent he has with the ball. Hopefully we can continue to grow the partnership.”
Castleford Tigers will have a player on debut in the absence of nine regulars through injury when Hull KR visit the Mend-a-Hose Jungle on Friday.
Coach Daryl Powell has named Lewis Peachey, Cory Aston and Jacques O’Neill in his 19-man squad, with at least one of them to play.
“We have nobody else to come in from our senior group so we will give an opportunity to a young man who deserves it,” said Powell.