New-look Leeds have the firepower to win Super League opener

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Super League is back – and it all kicks off with what promises to be a corker at Headingley this evening between Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves.

Treble winners Leeds start their title defence in unfamiliar territory, unable to call upon three of the club’s most revered modern-day figures – Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai.

Much of the talk since Leeds’ Grand Final victory over Wigan has been on how they’ll cope with the loss of the trio.

But, the acquisitions of internationals Keith Galloway and Brett Ferres ensures the chances of them suffering a dramatic fall from grace less likely, and the 10/11 about Leeds -6 points suggests just that.

Warrington, meanwhile, have been busy in the transfer market, making big-name signings in the form of Kurt Gidley, Joe Westerman and Tom Lineham. The latter finished second in the 2015 Super League tryscoring charts and can be backed at 11/1 to score the first try on his debut.

History suggests Warrington are in for a tough night’s work in West Yorkshire, with Leeds having lost just two of their 20 Super League season openers; their last defeat coming way back in 2000.

However, while the Rhinos may have claimed all three trophies in 2015, Warrington had the upper hand against them last year, recording two victories from three.

A round five clash last term saw the Wolves win 18-6, and it is 14/1 for them to win by 11-15 points this time around.

Man of Steel Zak Hardaker grabbed a brace in the Rhinos’ last meeting against Warrington in August (a 49-10 win), and he is 9/1 to match that feat while Leeds wing pairing Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe are a special price of 4/1 to both score, a generous price considering their joint total of 29 league tries last season.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Joe Whiteley

Joe is a Yorkshireman with a love for most sports, but especially rugby league, football and cricket. After realising he didn't have the strength, skill or hand-eye coordination to play any of those professionally, he completed a degree in Sports Journalism. He has since worked for sports publishers, newspapers and a professional rugby league club before joining Ladbrokes.