Super League only able to name 20-man squad for Challenge Cup semi-final

This week attention turns to the homes of Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves as they play host to huge semi-finals as Wigan Warriors, Hull KR, Leigh Leopards and St Helens battle for places at Wembley.

On Saturday in front of BBC cameras at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Leigh Leopards take on St Helens.

Then on Sunday the action heads over to Headingley where Hull KR will look to recreate their heroics from the same ground in 2015.

Wigan meanwhile are hoping to add to their legacy and win a 21st Challenge Cup an a second in a row. This is similar to St Helens who want to add to their dynasty and win a second cup in three years.

But the fairytale is Leigh who no one expected to be second or 80 minutes away from Wembley let alone both and now they are 80 minutes away from Derek Beaumont’s dream.

The team news is now 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.

Once again Leigh have only named a 20 man squad for the game.

That said it is an incredibly strong squad with 18 of their first 19 squad numbers named with Joe Wardle the only absentee.