St Helens suffer huge blow

This weekend we will be treated to two huge semi-finals as the home of Leeds Rhinos plays host to Wigan Warriors and Hull KR before Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones Stadium plays host to the meeting between Super League and World Champions St Helens and Leigh Leopards.

Leigh go into the game above the Saints sitting second as the surprise package of the season so far.

The Saints are currently fourth chasing four trophies in 2023 having won the World Club Challenge and having a slim chance at claiming the League Leaders’ Shield with a game in hand on the rest of the chasing pack.

Saints are also chasing a second Challenge Cup in three years after they ended a 13 year wait since 2008 in 2021 but lost in the semi-finals to Wigan Warriors in 2022.

As we look ahead to the game, some team news has come in.

Paul Wellens makes three changes to last week’s squad who were just edged out to a defeat against the current Super League leaders Catalans Dragons by 12 points to 14.

Tommy Makinson, Joe Batchelor, and Tee Ritson have been selected for the 21-man team and could make their returns to action following injuries that have ruled them out in recent weeks.

Mark Percival and James Roby step out of the side that was previously announced due to head injury protocols which saw them leave the field last Thursday night, and Curtis Sironen is the other change from last week’s squad.

Percival and Roby were blows we already knew about but it was hoped that after he made the 21 last week Sironen would be able to play but that is not the case.

At least there is a chance for both Tommy Makinson and Joe Batchelor to return to the mix.

Nonetheless, Sironen has been one of Saints’ better players in 2023.

Leigh Leopards are enjoying a fantastic season after securing promotion to the top flight for the fourth time last autumn, they’ve recruited strongly and sit 2nd in the league table as we go into this Challenge Cup weekend.

Extra motivation for a Semi-Final to go to Wembley won’t be needed, but Saints will be out for revenge too after suffering a late defeat at the Leigh Sports Village back in March, 20-12.

St. Helens 21-man squad vs Leigh Leopards
1. Jack Welsby ,2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Will Hopoate, 5. Jon Bennison, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 8. Alex Walmsley, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Sione Mata’utia, 12. Joe Batchelor, 13. Morgan Knowles, 14. Joey Lussick, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 17. Agnatius Paasi, 19. James Bell, 20. Dan Norman, 21. Ben Davies, 22. Sam Royle, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 25. Tee Ritson, 30. George Delaney.

Leigh have yet to name their squad.