This weekend we will see Wigan Warriors take on Hull KR for a place at Old Trafford but before that we will see St Helens take on Catalans Dragons after defeating Warrington Wolves last year.
As of today, St Helens have help the Super League trophy for 1455 days and are chasing a fifth consecutive title.
But the team they defeated for title number three stands in their way: Catalans Dragons.
It will also be a career ending game for two of four players. Either St Helens’ duo of Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Super League legend James Roby will bow out or it will be NRL legend Mitchell Pearce and two time Man of Steel Sam Tomkins.
The Saints duo start together in the front row with Alex Walmsley on the bench alongside George Roby who returns from a ban.
Joe Batchelor is out through injury which is why LMS starts enabling Sione Mata’utia to drop to second row.
Konrad Hurrell again misses out despite Batchelor’s injury.
The clash is a repeat of the 2021 Grand Final of which Saints won 12-10 however this is a much-changed St Helens side with their point scorers that night, Lachlan Coote and Kevin Naiqama, no longer with the club.
Friday night could also see a changing of the guard among the current squad as it could well be the final ever game for James Roby and Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook, both of whom will retire at the end of the current season.
Whether Saints or Catalans win in Perpignan on Friday night it will mark the final ever game for one of Super League’s greats as Dragons’ stand-off Sam Tomkins is also set to retire, meaning one of Roby or Tomkins will get their ‘Last Dance’ at Old Trafford and the other’s career will sadly end on Friday.
It also could be the final game representing Les Dracs for many other players with Mitchell Pearce also set to retire whilst Mikael Goudemand, Adam Keighran, Tyrone May and Matt Whitley are all confirmed as leaving the Gilbert Brutus at the end of the season.
Neither team enter the game with any suspension issues after Saints star Alex Walmsley avoided a ban for his high shot against Warrington Wolves last week, whereas the Dragons are coming off a bye week themselves.