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“It’s great to have him back” – St Helens star makes return to starting 13

Huddersfield Giants aim to kick on from their upset win over Leigh Leopards today but they welcome a St Helens side that made light work of London Broncos last week.

The Giants beat out Leigh 16-8 with tries from Esan Marsters and Elliot Wallis but they welcome a Saints side that scored 40 in round one against London Broncos.

Paul Wellens’ side cruised to victory with new signings Daryl Clark and Matt Whitley both getting on the score sheet, the latter scoring twice for the club that he grew up supporting.

The Red Vee are arguably even stronger today with Wellens able to name Morgan Knowles in his squad after the loose forward missed out in round one.

Even more worrying for Huddersfield is that full-back Jake Connor is not available after failing his HIA last week against the Leopards.

Thankfully for Ian Watson, Tui Lolohea’s ban that he incurred in pre-season has ended and he’s able to slot the Tongan international straight in at the back meaning Oli Russell once again pairs NRL recruit Adam Clune in the halves.

“This is a huge challenge for us” – St Helens in for tough task against Huddersfield Giants

St Helens Head Coach Paul Wellens

The return of Morgan Knowles is absolutely immense for St Helens, particularly given that Huddersfield don’t have their own star forward in Luke Yates with the Australian the victim of a controversial ban.

That was a talking point this week at the Giants’ presser but it wasn’t actually Ian Watson who spoke there, instead sending assistant Luke Robinson who claimed it was down to superstition.

He revealed: “If you do know him, he’s very, very, very superstitious. We got a win last week, we played pretty well, so all of a sudden he’s like, ‘you’re doing it again’.

“Hopefully you’re going to see me all year.”

As for Watson’s counterpart, Paul Wellens has revealed the boost that the returning Knowles does bring to the side with Konrad Hurrell and Moses Mbye both dropping out.

In a video shared to the St Helens X profile, he said: “It’s great to have Morgan back. He was close last week but we didn’t want to push it but he’s been chomping at the bit all week.

“His application in training has been first class and he’s ready to go.”

On what he expects today against the Giants, he added:  “I think like ourselves, they got a win in round one and you’re very happy with that but you don’t rest on your laurels and you aim to build on that.

“I’m sure they’ll be keen to back up what was a great performance away at Leigh and that’s the challenge that we’ve got to rise to.

“We want to build some continuity, build some momentum and there’s no better place to do it than here. Huddersfield are a great side, very competitive and this is a huge challenge for us.”

The game is set to be broadcast live on Sky Sports Action.

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