Hetherington: Super League intensity contributing to injury drama

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington believes that the “intensity” of Super League in 2016 is playing a major role in the increasing number of injuries throughout the competition.

Hetherington’s Rhinos are one of several clubs who have been without a plethora of key first-team stars this season, with the defending champions without as many as 10 key men for last weekend’s defeat to Huddersfield.

And Hetherington told the Yorkshire Post that whilst it increased television money and revenue coming into the sport means a more competitive Super League, it is ultimately producing more injuries on a more frequent basis.

“We have created a competition which has got great intensity and that in itself is resulting in more players getting injured and players playing injured and not being able to prepare for games properly,” he said.

“Also, what we have done with the salary cap and money coming into the game centrally – from television and commercial deals – is create an equality across the league.

“That creates pressure, as does the cut off after 23 rounds and introducing promotion and relegation.”

The Rhinos have been without internationals such as Danny McGuire, Carl Ablett, Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe for extended periods of the season – and they will name their squad to face Huddersfield in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup on Wednesday afternoon.