Peacock set for landmark
Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott expects Jamie Peacock to be “buzzing” when he makes his 350th Super League appearance against Hull FC at Headingley tonight.
The veteran forward made the 450th appearance of his distinguished career in the Rhinos’ win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats last month but his latest landmark went on hold as he recovered from a knee injury.
Peacock, who played 188 times for Bradford Bulls before joining his home-town team in 2006, will be making his first appearance since announcing his retirement from the international game and McDermott believes the former England skipper will be refreshed from his enforced lay-off.
“He’s had a bit of a knee niggle but it’s settled down and he’s freshened up,” said McDermott. “He’ll be buzzing.
“He’s an amazing machine. As soon as you start to doubt what he can do physically, he goes and does something else.
“We have our internal stats and, if he’s not the winner of it most weeks, he’s certainly in the top three every week.
“Now that he’s retired from the international game, he can concentrate on us and I’m sure that’s going to be of great benefit.”
Tonight Peacock could find himself up against his old Bradford team-mate Lee Radford, who is poised once more to come out of retirement to help Hull through another injury crisis.
The 33-year-old hung up his boots in January but was pressed into action over Easter and is again on stand-by following the loss of Sam Moa and Danny Tickle with season-ending arm injuries.
“To lose Danny and Sam to the same injury in the same game is unbelievable and they’ll be a big loss but we have options to cope without them,” said Hull coach Peter Gentle.
“Lee has been leaving his boots outside my office for the last few months as a bit of a reminder that he’s there if I need him and he may just get his chance.
“He won’t let anybody down. He has been training with us and he has kept himself in good shape. He knows our systems and structures, so we are lucky to be able to call on him if required.
“He won’t be expected to play for long spells but we saw against Hull KR earlier in the season that he gave us a big lift while he was on the field.
“It’s not an ideal situation but these are the cards we have been dealt and we just have to get on with it.”