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St Helens v Leeds: 21-man squads, injury update and TV details

Two old Grand Final foes meet again as the season gears up towards the Old Trafford decider both Leeds and St Helens are so familiar with. The two teams find themselves currently in the running but a defeat for Leeds could damage their chances.

The Saints come into the game on the back of a heart breaking defeat to Catalans. Their loss saw them forfeit the League Leaders’ Shield to the Dragons and perhaps the favourites tag along with it. Thus, they’ll have a point to prove against the only team they’ve met at Old Trafford and not beaten. A win would give them back some much needed momentum after surrendering an 18-point lead with five minutes to go at St James’ Park.

For Leeds, it’s the exact opposite. Last time out they came up with the golden point heroics to down Hull FC to leave them firmly in the top six. A defeat here wouldn’t end their season but it could leave the Rhinos in desperate need of a win next week at Headingley when they meet play-off rivals Hull KR.

This Friday night blockbuster kicks off at 19:45 and is live on Sky Sports Mix.

St Helens

The good news for St Helens is the availability of skipper James Roby. Last year’s Harry Sunderland Award winner is still central to the Champions and the fact he’s fit despite a head knock against Catalans is a huge boost. However, the loss of Leeds bound backrow James Bentley will hurt Saints’ strength down the middle as will Agnatius Paasi’s suspension and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook’s absence. All this means Joel Thompson could make a return to the side having been left out of the last two. Dan Norman and Josh Eaves both come into the squad to provide Saints with options.

21-man squad: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Tommy Makinson, 3 Kevin Naiqama, 4 Mark Percival, 5 Regan Grace, 8 Alex Walmsley, 9 James Roby, 10 Matty Lees, 11 Joel Thompson, 13 Morgan Knowles, 14 Sione Mata’utia, 16 Kyle Amor, 18 Jack Welsby, 19 Aaron Smith, 20 Joe Batchelor, 21 Lewis Dodd, 23 Jake Wingfield, 24 Josh Eaves, 25 Dan Norman, 29 Ben Davies.


There is no such injury boost for the Rhinos. In fact, they’re without two of the 17 who featured in the Magic win against Hull FC. Rob Lui failed his HIA in the victory so his absence shouldn’t surprise anyone, but King Vuniyayawa also misses out having picked up a foot injury. This means starlet Levi Edwards returns to the squad despite being just 17 years of age and is joined by Corey Johnson. The hooker retired from professional rugby last year after one senior appearance despite his huge potential but has since returned to the Rhinos and after an impressive loan spell at York could return to Leeds’ first team on Friday.

21-man squad: 2 Tom Briscoe, 3 Harry Newman, 5 Ash Handley, 9 Kruise Leeming, 10 Matt Prior, 12 Rhyse Martin, 14 Brad Dwyer, 16 Richie Myler, 17 Cameron Smith, 18 Tom Holroyd, 20 Bodene Thompson, 21 Alex Sutcliffe, 22 Sam Walters, 24 Luke Briscoe, 25 James Donaldson, 26 Jarrod O’Connor, 27 Jack Broadbent, 28 Corey Hall, 30 Levi Edwards, 31 Morgan Gannon, 32 Corey Johnson.

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