It’s easy to forget how many injuries St Helens had to deal with in 2022.
They may have finished top of the league and won the Grand Final, but the Saints lost star halfback Lewis Dodd for the majority of the campaign, Alex Walmsley for the end of it, Mark Percival for a long stretch and Jonny Lomax missed England duty in the Rugby League World Cup due to playing the season injured.
Meanwhile, Will Hopoate’s injury hit season concluded with an injury in the World Cup for Tonga.
However, new boss Paul Wellens confirmed that he expects to have a full squad for the World Club Challenge against Penrith Panthers as he said:
“We have a few players coming back from injury and some back in rehab. I am confident that by the time we get on the plane at the end of January that we will have our strongest possible squad.”
Speaking of players Wellens will want to play, he said he wants to see the likes of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai play against St Helens after concerns they won’t feature:
“I want them to play. We want to give the game the respect it deserves and play against those players who have helped win those titles.
“I don’t know them personally, but they seem very competitive and will want to play.”
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