Leeds Rhinos have been dealt a double injury blow with both Jamie Peacock and Carl Ablett ruled out for up to eight weeks.

35-year-old Peacock, who has scored two tries in 11 appearances this season, has been sidelined with a knee injury, whilst Ablett suffered a hand injury in the Challenge Cup fifth round defeat to Huddersfield Giants.

Stevie Ward and Ben Jones-Bishop will also miss the clash against St Helens at Headingley on Monday, whilst Brett Delaney is also not expected to recover from a shoulder injury in-time for the Super League clash.

"It is a blow to lose both Carl and Jamie, especially considering the form that both players are in at present," said head coach Brian McDermott.

"The worst case scenario is that both are out for eight weeks but our medical staff will be working hard with them. Brett Delaney is also struggling with the shoulder injury he suffered against the Giants and he may miss out this week.

"It is obviously a blow to lose two internationals from our squad for two months but injuries are something that is part of our game and that is why you have a squad to draw upon.

"Stevie Ward is also out and Ben Jones-Bishop is a couple of weeks away from making his return but this will give an opportunity to other players to stake their claim in the team over the next few weeks."

Leeds have pulled themselves back into contention at the top of the Super League table after a slow start to the campaign, and are currently four points off the pace with two games in hand.

Defeat to the Giants has ended the Rhinos’ chances of making it four consecutive finals in a row in the competition, but McDermott will be eager for his side to get their focus back on the league campaign.

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