Rugby League

Leeds won't recall Kevin Sinfield as cover for captain Danny McGuire

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Football News

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington says the Super League champions have the resources to offset the loss of new captain Danny McGuire without having to consider bringing back his predecessor Kevin Sinfield.

McGuire took over the captaincy following Sinfield's switch of codes at the end of their treble-winning season in October but has been ruled out for six to eight weeks with a knee injury sustained in the first half-hour of Thursday's opening 12-10 defeat to Warrington.

McGuire's new half-back partner, Liam Sutcliffe, is just back from a six-month lay-off with a knee injury and struggled at times on his return against the Wolves, raising the intriguing possibility of the Rhinos sending out an SOS to Sinfield, who remains on the Headingley scene with sister club Yorkshire Carnegie.

But Sinfield is currently sidelined with a calf injury and, according to Hetherington, would not be considered in any case.

"Danny's misfortune is somebody else's opportunity," Hetherington said. "We have a 25-man squad for a reason.

"We knew we were going to have some key players injured this year but we promoted Jordan Lilley, Ashton Golding and Ash Handley with the intention of playing them in Super League.

"It's a blow, there is no question about it, but it is one of many challenges we will face this season."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott can turn to McGuire's long-time half-back partner Rob Burrow, who still wears the number seven shirt despite spending most of his time these days at hooker, for the scrum-half role and 19-year-old Lilley is also likely to get more opportunities over the next two months.

Lilley made his fifth appearance off the bench last Thursday after being brought in following the withdrawal of new hooker Beau Falloon, who failed to recover from a broken toe.

Burrow took over the captaincy against Warrington and is likely to keep the role for Sunday's trip to Widnes and the Dacia World Club Challenge against North Queensland Cowboys a week later.

"We have a team full of leaders so that won't be a problem," Hetherington said.

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