Kristian Woolf explains interesting plan for Will Hopoate for St Helens

Grand Final team news is in and there’s been more than one surprise.

Ash Handley starts on the wing for Leeds after being ruled out of the game last Friday by Rohan Smith. He was then described as having a “50/50” chance on Thursday when named in the squad and now plays ahead of youngster Liam Tindall to make a Grand Final debut after missing the 2015 and 2017 deciders.

Leeds have also made the surprise decision to name Cameron Smith in the halves to keep Zak Hardaker at centre and Richie Myler at fullback.

As for the Saints, they’ve been able to recall Will Hopoate but he has been named on the wing in a bit of a surprise whilst Jon Bennison has been named at the back.

However, don’t be surprised to see them switch with Kristian Woolf saying on the Saints Twitter: “He’ll play a little bit on the wing and a little bit at fullback because he’s got those silky skills as we know. He’s going to make a big difference to our attack. He’ll float around and play a bit at fullback but tag in a bit with Jon Bennison.”

Woolf also has plenty of respect for the Rhinos noting the hard worth and tenacity which has gotten them to the Grand Final: “That’s how they’ve got through finals, they’ve stayed in games and shown a resilience and waited for their opportunities and taken them.”

It remains to be seen if this final will be little more than just grind or if the Saints will need someone like Hopoate to turn the game upside down.

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