Kearney out of season opener

Hull have ruled high-profile signing Stephen Kearney out of their side to play champions Leeds Rhinos in the opening engage Super League match at the KC Stadium.

The 32-year-old New Zealand Test second rower has failed to recover from a torn pectoral muscle and was not included in coach John Kear?s initial 20-man squad named for the match on Friday.

Hull will also be without former Leeds prop Garreth Carvell and centre Richard Whiting, both injured in last week?s friendly at St Helens, but are hoping loose forward Chris Chester will recover in time from a shoulder injury.

?Stephen is not quite there, and I?m not prepared to risk players who are not 100% fit,? said Kear.

?Chris Chester looks as if he will okay, and we?ll have a very representative side out.? Under a new directive from the Rugby Football League, clubs will name a 20-man squad 72 hours before kick-off - reducing it to 18 players 48 hours later.

Leeds coach Tony Smith has added Wayne McDonald, Liam Botham and Lee Smith to the 17 players on duty for last Friday?s World Club Challenge triumph.

St Helens are still without stand-off Jason Hooper and prop Keith Mason for Friday?s home game against Widnes but expect to have Lee Gilmour and Sean Long back from injury.

Salford will be without new signing Junior Langi for the trip to Wigan after the former Parramatta centre sustained a torn quad muscle in training.

?It?s going to be another couple of weeks before we see him on the paddock,? said Reds coach Karl Harrison.

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