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St Helens dealt injury blow for Challenge Cup clash

Paul Wellens has provided an injury update ahead of his St Helens’ side taking on Warrington Wolves in the Challenge Cup as the team bids to make yet another semi-final.

Last year saw St Helens crash out at the semi-final stage in a controversial loss against eventual champions Leigh Leopards with that game being the one to create discourse around John Asiata’s tackle technique.

In the aftermath, Wellens went on a tirade about the Leigh skipper not being banned and a win over Warrington could potentially set up another semi-final against the Leopards.

St Helens will be without Jake Wingfield for the game against Warrington though with the forward suffering from a shoulder injury, sustained in the loss to Catalans, which is set to sideline him for a few weeks per Wellens.

The head coach of the Red Vee explained in his press conference that Wingfield is the only new absentee as he detailed the injury that the 22-year-old had suffered.

“There’s only Jake Wingfield who’s got a bit of a shoulder issue that we’re having checked out at the moment. It’s unlikely he’s going to play for a few weeks but I can’t really say much more than that until we get those further checks.

“It’s obviously disappointing for Jake, it’s obviously a big game at the weekend, it’s one that he’d love to be part of and what I’ve got to say, I think he’s been outstanding the way he started the year as well.

“It’s a loss for us, it’s obviously a disappointment for him but we’ll adapt and whatever 17 take the field then I’m sure there’ll be huge motivation for every individual to well learn and perform well.”

Wellens also confirmed that Daryl Clark, Konrad Hurrell and Moses Mbye had recovered well from knocks sustained in that loss to Catalans.

Who else is injured for St Helens?

Mark Percival is wearing the St Helens shirt, kicking for goal. Of course, it's white with a red V, and there's a thin red line down the sides. The collar and sleeve cuffs are red. The Home Bargains logo on it is huge.

Credit: Imago Images

Whilst Wingfield is the latest addition to the injury list for St Helens, there’s been an update provided on one of the players currently on the list and that is Mark Percival.

Percival was ruled out of the game against Catalans Dragons after failing his Head Injury Assessment against Wigan Warriors in the derby on Good Friday.

Wellens confirmed that the centre had seen a specialist and revealed the verdict: “Yeah, it’s a really positive result but he’s not available this week so he’s likely to be available for the week after, the match against Hull FC.

“I have no issue with that, we as a club take obviously the players’ health very very seriously and we’ve sat down with the specialists and yeah it’s a Challenge Cup tie, yeah it’s an important game but we will absolutely follow the guidance given to us there by the specialists.”

With Percival out it could mean another spell for Konrad Hurrell in the centres and Wellens was asked about how Percival had taken the news, asserting that the club had taken matters out of the players’ hands.

The St Helens boss explained: “Obviously Mark’s disappointed, he’d love to have been playing at the weekend, but we do what’s right for Mark. It’s not necessarily what Mark wants, it’s what’s right for him. He wants to play, he’s desperate to play and we’d love to have him in the team, but his health comes first. That’s the decision that’s been made and we respect it.

“The specialist has made the call that another week is probably beneficial. When it’s a head injury like Mark has sustained, we’re all well aware now of the precautions that need to be taken around brain health.”

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