St Helens’ World Club Challenge opponents Penrith suffer huge injury blow

We’re 16 days out from the World Club Challenge which is set to be played for the first time since 2020 and the first time on Australian soil since 2018.

St Helens travel down under to face back to back champions Penrith Panthers in a game that will be absolutely huge.

The match pits the Super League and NRL champions against one another and the immense stage won’t be underestimated by Saints, with coach Paul Wellens having told SaintsTV that victory would be “the absolute pinnacle” of the Red Vee’s illustrious history.

Winning that game and making history may have just got slightly easier as one of Penrith’s stars may miss the clash.

The Daily Telegraph are reporting that forward Liam Martin could miss the fixture, going as far to list him as “in serious doubt”.

It would be a huge blow for the side chasing their first ever World Club Challenge and even more heart-breaking for Martin is that it comes just a day after receiving an extension.

The 25-year-old made his international debut at the World Cup and even scored in the final meaning he’ll be a huge miss for Penrith, for whom he has played for all his career having debuted in 2019.

Martin is believed to have damaged his AC joint during a wrestling session in preparation for the NRL pre-season and the matchup with Saints.

Given that Penrith are aiming for an unprecedented third NRL title in a row it’s believed coach Ivan Cleary will err on the side of caution if the issue remains prevalent in just over two week’s time.

Meanwhile Saints themselves had been resting players during pre-season with eight huge names missing out on Mark Percival’s testimonial match against Widnes last Friday.

Percival himself missed the fixture due to a knock alongside Will Hopoate, the senior James Roby and then England World Cup stars Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Matty Lees, Morgan Knowles and Joe Batchelor.

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