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Challenge Cup Final: Predicted line-ups and late injury news

In the oldest and most prestigious competition in rugby league, St Helens and Castleford do battle to see who will be crowned the 2021 winners of the Challenge Cup.

For St Helens it’s been a long 13 years since their last Wembley triumph and you feel this Saints side – who are set for plenty of change in 2022 – need that Wembley glory to complete their legacy.

Speaking of legacy, it’s poetic for Daryl Powell. In his first full season with the Tigers he led them to Wembley only to come up short against Leeds. Seven years on and in his final season with Castleford, he has a shot at redemption and the opportunity to guide Castleford to their first major final win of the summer era.

Looking at the St Helens 21-man squad, Kristian Woolf certainly has a headache or two. Firstly, with five brilliant outside backs in the shape of Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace and Grand Final hero Jack Welsby to choose from and only four starting positions across the three-quarters available, one may have to drop out. Yes, Welsby could very well feature on the bench but at the expense of who? Will one of Woolf’s impressive collection of big men drop out or will it be starlet Lewis Dodd? My guess is that both Dodd and Welsby will start on the bench with Morgan Knowles tasked with moving to second-row to accommodate for the likes of Alex Walmsely, Matty Lees, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor and Agnatius Paasi all of whom I think will play. That means the unlucky man to miss out will be Joe Batchelor. This is all dependant on Theo Fages returning, however.

What about the Tigers? I believe Powell will name a team similar to the one who beat Warrington in the semi-final. He’ll be hoping Jake Trueman is fit to start otherwise we could see former Saint Danny Richardson. As for the rest of the side, most of it should be pretty straight forward. However, like Saints, a number of forwards are all vying for a limited number of positions. I could see Grant Millington dropping out having only just returned from injury.

St Helens
1 Lachlan Coote
2 Tommy Makinson
3 Kevin Naiqama
4 Mark Percival
5 Regan Grace
6 Jonny Lomax
7 Theo Fages
8 Alex Walmsley
9 James Roby
10 Matty Lees
11 Joel Thompson
13 Morgan Knowles
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
16 Kyle Amor
17 Agnatius Paasi
18 Jack Welsby
21 Lewis Dodd

1 Niall Evalds
2 Derrell Olpherts
3 Peter Mata’utia
4 Michael Shenton
25 Jordan Turner
6 Jake Trueman
31 Gareth O’Brien
14 Nathan Massey
9 Paul McShane
24 Suaia Matagi
11 Oliver Holmes
21 Jesse Sene-Lefao
13 Adam Milner
8 Liam Watts
15 George Griffin
17 Alex Foster
22 Daniel Smith

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