“As a club we take these allegations very seriously. We do not condone abuse of any kind.

“We have spoken to the family involved and have ensured them we are undertaking a thorough investigation based on the information that has been provided to us.

“We will make no further comment whilst these investigations are on-going.”

Saints eventually ran out 28-8 winners with the game fast and frenetic – if too tasty at times – but for one fan, it wasn’t a night to write home about.

One 7-year-old had travelled to the Totally Wicked Stadium in Catalans Dragons gear hoping to support his adopted side, but his mother couldn’t have been more shocked at the events that unfolded

“First game of the new season should have been fun for Oliver tonight and it would have been had he not had to endure racist comments.”

His mother’s tweet said a small number of fans in the crowd “(had wrongly) assumed [Oliver] was French”.

“As a result of these comments he’s been left tearful and wondering if he even wants to wear his Dragons kit to games as he is worried it might happen again.

“As his mum, to see him so upset breaks my heart. He was just a little boy out to support a team, he did not deserve the abuse from a minority of narrow-minded and ignorant fans.”

But she said the stewards were “fantastic in giving Oliver reassurance once I had alerted them to the issues”.

St Helens responded with a classy statement inviting Oliver to a St Helens game: “We’re so sorry to hear this. We do not condone abuse of any kind and we will be investigating this matter. We would like to invite you and your mum to join us in our Players’ Lounge when you’re next at a Saints game to show you we’re all a rugby league family.”

After being contacted by Serious About Rugby League, an RFL spokesman sent this message: “We urge everyone involved with Rugby League to play their part in ensuring our game offers a fun, safe and inclusive environment where we can all Enjoy the Game.”