McGuire ready for Saints


18th September 2013

Leeds Rhinos half-back Danny McGuire has proved his fitness ahead of Friday's sudden-death Super League play-off tie with St Helens at Headingley.

The England international, who recently returned from a broken leg, rolled his ankle during the closing stages of last Saturday's 40-20 qualifying play-off defeat at Warrington Wolves but has removed any doubt over his availability for the Saints clash, much to the relief of coach Brian McDermott.

"He was clearly in pain and had to come off the field but for him it has never been in doubt that he would play, which is different to what the physio says," McDermott said. "But it's good that he's like that.

"Maggsy keeps picking up these little niggles, which is not great for him, but he's invaluable to us, not just with ball in hand but also some of the things he does off the ball.

"He makes the team tick. There is a great combination with him, Kevin (Sinfield) and Rob (Burrow) so we're keen that he gets through.

"He's trained today and he got through the session. He's still sore but he's likely to play."

McDermott has named an unchanged squad and St Helens coach Nathan Brown is also hoping to stick with the team that thrashed Hull KR in the first round of the play-offs.

Makeshift scrum-half Jon Wilkin (concussion) and full-back Jonny Lomax (hamstring) failed to finish that match and Brown admits he may have to delay finalising his line-up.

"We've got a few bumps," he said. "We'll make a late check on one or two, that are causing a bit of concern. We're no different to any other side at this time of year."

Friday's game will mark the 300th and 100th career appearances respectively for Leeds duo Kylie Leuluai and Kallum Watkins.