Rhinos chase an early Toopi

Leeds Rhinos hope to secure an early arrival of Kiwi and New Zealand Warriors centre Clinton Toopi so he can join them in time to boost their squad for the Super League title run-in. Toopi was due to arrive at Headingley on a three-year deal from next season.

Leeds Chief executive Gary Hetherington hopes the New Zealand Warriors will release the player three months early.

"Clinton's manager Peter Brown is going to approach the Warriors to sound out the possibility of him joining us for the rest of this season," he said.

"There will be discussions early this week. The deadline for any new players to play until the end of the season is 18 July, so we will have to move quickly if anything is going to happen."

The Rhinos are currently second in Super League, two points behind leaders St Helens who they face next month.

Toopi, 26, who has scored 57 tries in 128 games for the Warriors, is in the New Zealand squad to face Great Britain at St Helens on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Leeds prop Chris Feather has been ruled out for six weeks after fracturing the scaphoid bone in his hand during the victory over Wakefield.

The 24-year-old is not expected to return until early August, ruling him out of the Powergen Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Huddersfield on 20 July.

The former Wakefield front-rower will undergo surgery on Tuesday and joins Richard Mathers and Matt Diskin on the sidelines, although England international Nick Scruton is set to return following injury.

Head coach Tony Smith said: "It is disappointing for Chris because he was getting a good run in the side recently but the surgery is routine and we are confident he will be back available in six weeks.

"It is good to have Nick Scruton back available after missing the last two games, not just because of Chris' injury but also the form he was showing before the injury."

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