It’s known as one of the biggest derby games to ever go ahead in the game of rugby league, but Friday night’s game between St Helens and the Wigan Warriors has what it takes to be an absolute cracker.
First versus second in the table and with Saints looking to hone in on that League Leaders’ Shield, Wigan will be wanting to stop them and claim top spot for themselves with time running out.
That being said, Kristian Woolf will have to make do without Tongan international Will Hopoate, with Woolf determined not to risk him.
“Will Hopoate tightened up with that hamstring which he has had problems with before,” Woolf said.
“So he is one we won’t take a risk with so we’ve got him at the back end of the year when it will be really important.”
In terms of Saints’ playing squad, there aren’t many players who are out of contract at the end of the season, but one of them who is is Londoner Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.
The 35-year-old has become a massively popular member of the Saints squad ever since joining from the London Broncos, but he remains without a club for 2023 as it stands.
However, Woolf believes that, just like James Roby, a deal will be handed out if he continues playing in the same vein as he currently is.
“He is probably a bit like James Roby. If he is playing the way he is playing then he doesn’t deserve a tap on the shoulder.
“He’s got to make a decision there himself in terms of what he wants to do. Then once he lets us know and if his performances are deserving of one then we can certainly make it happen.”
McCarthy-Scarsbrook has played over 300 games for Saints since joining back in 2011, becoming one of the most important members of the squad in that time.