Paul Wellens makes surprise wing decision as star man named on the bench

St Helens are taking on St George Illawarra Dragons in the morning in the pre-season challenge.

This competition sees Super League Champions St Helens provide the extra team to take it 18 after the introduction of new club The Dolphins to the NRL.

It is the perfect chance for St Helens to prepare ahead of the World Club Challenge which takes place next week against Penrith Panthers who at present lead against Parramatta Eels in the Pre-Season Challenge themselves, a competition where there is $100,000 available.

That World Club Challenge is live on Channel 4 and Sky Sports next week whilst today’s game is on Sky Sports Mix meaning that fans don’t need a Sky Sports subscription to watch the game.

It kicks off at 9am UK time and thus Paul Wellens has named his team for the clash.

There is a surprise call in the backs. Many expected a battle between number five Jon Bennison and new signing Tee Ritson for the spot on the left wing as the replacement for Regan Grace but neither play not even Grand Final and semi-final try scorer Bennison.

Instead Will Hopoate starts on the wing allowing Konrad Hurrell to play at centre.

The rest of the team is as you’d expect for the most part. Jack Welsby is at fullback, Tommy Makinson and Mark Percival make up the backline.

Jonny Lomax and Lewis Dodd are in the halves whilst the front row is Alex Walmsley, skipper James Roby and Matty Lees. Sione Mata’utia and Joe Batchelor start in the backrow but Morgan Knowles doesn’t start at 13.

Instead James Bell starts. The rest of the squad is on the bench.

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