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St Helens face nervous wait as they suffer big blow

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens

We are at a vital juncture in the Super League season. Warrington Wolves have slipped down the league ladder as Leigh Leopards have fired up into the top two to the surprise of many. Pre-season title favourites Wigan Warriors and of course the Champions St Helens are going about their business quietly whilst Leeds Rhinos begin to climb the table as they did last year.

Making matters even more important is the fact the Challenge Cup semi-finals are just weeks away.

At Leeds’ Headingley Stadium, Wigan Warriors and Hull KR collide. The Robins are looking to right the wrongs of their last Challenge Cup Final when they were beaten 50-0 at Wembley – they got to that final via victory at Headingley against Warrington. Wigan meanwhile are looking to defend their crown won at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium last year against Huddersfield Giants.

In the other semi-final, this season’s surprise package, the newly promoted Leigh Leopards take on St Helens who are chasing only their second Challenge Cup Final win in 15 years despite their brilliant success in the last decade.

The Saints though have some big league games on the horizon too including a clash with league leaders Catalans Dragons and they face a nervous wait on the fitness of star forward Joe Batchelor for that game and the semi-final after a hamstring injury.

He will though miss this weekend’s big game against Warrington Wolves in a huge blow for the Champions against the Wolves who sit above them in the table.

“It’s still a couple of weeks more than likely. We’re hopeful he’s back for Catalans but if not then the semi-final,” Saints boss Paul Wellens revealed on Saints TV.

“Obviously with a hamstring injury you don’t want to take risk where it’s not necessary. I’ll be in dialogue with the medical team and we’ll make a decision in due course.”

His absence is perhaps counteracted by Warrington’s loss of Sam Kasiano through suspension.

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