Tomorrow Shaun Wane will reveal his 24-man include squad.
Already without the likes of Liam Farrell, Alex Walmsley and Harry Newman through injury, Wane has been struck by another crucial injury blow ahead of the tournament as two men who were certainties for the squad have been ruled out.
That’s Grand Final winners Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival. The pair starred in St Helens’ 24-12 win over Leeds at Old Trafford with Lomax managing a ruptured bicep all season until the final and Percival only just returning from a bruised bone in his knee for the semi-final against Salford.
Now both have been ruled out of the tournament as injury problems continue to mount for Wane.
It does demonstrate the commitment both players have to St Helens that they have pushed themselves to breaking point to help them to Grand Final glory but leaves England without key players.
Percival’s injury exacerbates the loss of Newman and leaves more pressure on Herbie Farnworth and Oliver Gildart of the NRL the latter of who arrived in England this morning.
Kallum Watkins may be an option now at centre. No doubt set to be named in the squad, he has spent the season playing in the backrow.
As for Lomax, it’s speculated that Harry Smith and/or Marc Sneyd could replace him. Jackson Hastings was hoping for selection but that seems unlikely despite his form in Super League.
You can see what Wane’s squad could look like in full here.