Kristian Woolf confident ‘best centre in the competition’ Mark Percival will be fit to face Salford

Every Super League side has had to contend with disruptive injuries in 2022.

But, for St Helens, those have tended to come in key positions with the likes of Lewis Dodd, Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival and Will Hopoate suffering long-term problems at one stage or another.

However, Saints head coach Kristian Woolf is confident that one of those – Mark Percival – will be fit come Saturday afternoon when the Merseyside club takes on Salford Red Devils in the Super League play-off semi-finals.

“I’m really confident that Percy (Mark Percival) will be available. He’s done training with the squad and we’ve got to get through another training session tomorrow to see,” Woolf said.

“Mark is one of the most natural footballers I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve got no doubt he will come in and you could say he is the best centre in the competition or the most consistent.

“He plays what he sees and he’s a player that you want in your team, but we played without him in 2020

“I’ve thrown someone in who hasn’t been right, but they have let you down because they have not been ready.

“It’s a big boost and it’s not a worry at all. We wouldn’t throw anyone out there who cannot play high intensity for 80 minutes and I’ve got no doubts about Percival doing that.

“We’ve played over 30 games we are as battle hardened as we can be. We’ve had to get through some games that aren’t as exciting but you’ve got to find a way to win.”

There are still question marks over Tongan international Will Hopoate who has endured a difficult season with injury, but Woolf is giving him all the chance of playing.

“Will will train tomorrow and we will see where he is at. If he can show us he is 100% and we think he can get through 80 minutes then we will play him.”

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