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Warrington and Leeds set for play-off showdown

Alex Ballard previews this weekend's Super League play-offs

Second faces third in the Super League qualifying play-off today, as Warrington Wolves take on Leeds Rhinos in a repeat of the 2012 Grand Final.

With a place in the semi-finals up for grabs, Warrington welcome back winger Joel Monaghan from a back injury while loose forward Ben Harrison is also in the reckoning to face the Rhinos after recovering from a hip problem.

Reigning champions Leeds have prop Ryan Bailey back from suspension in the only change to the team that won at Wigan, with Stevie Ward their only injury absentee.

Of the two Super League meetings between the sides in 2013, the home side were victorious on each occasion so the Wolves are marginal favourites to triumph at the Halliwell Jones Stadium this afternoon.

Elsewhere, today’s week one elimination play-off sees St Helens, who finished fifth in the Super League, take on Hull KR who came eighth.

Rovers did the double over the Saints this term but Nathan Brown’s side head into the contest as favourites having won six of their last seven matches.

The St Helens coach has named an unchanged 19-man squad from the side that won at Rovers’ rivals Hull FC in their final match of the regular season, with hooker James Roby expected to be back from injury.

Rovers are without St Helens-bound prop Rich Beaumont (hernia) but senior players Michael Dobson, Josh Hodgson, Cory Paterson, Mickey Paea, Graeme Horne, Con Mika, Adam Walker, Dave Hodgson and Liam Salter are all set to return after sitting out last week’s home defeat by London Broncos.


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