Super League star dropped for huge play-off game

If Warrington Wolves stun Champions St Helens today they will lock horns with Wigan Warriors in the Super League semi-finals joining Hull KR and Catalans Dragons.

The Wolves have a huge task ahead of them against the Champions for 1449 days.

They have named a surprise team with Connor Wrench at centre with Peter Mata’utia dropped to the bench.

They have also dropped Gil Dudson completely to 18th man with Joe Bullock and Joe Philbin preferred to him.

Both teams come into this off the backs of contrasting regular season form. Warrington started fantastically, winning their first eight games of the season, but since then it has been turmoil. A run of eight consecutive loses saw the end of Daryl Powell’s reign, and in came Gary Chambers. Since his appointment, Chambers has helped steady the ship and guided them through to the play-offs.

The Wire had to do it the hard way though, only securing their place in the top six last week with their victory over Huddersfield Giants.

On the other hand St Helens started the season slowly, but once they got the World Club Challenge out of their system they have been one of the form sides in the league and narrowly missed out on the League Leaders Shield on points difference.

The rivals have met on three occasions already this season, with the defending Champions coming away with the spoils on all three occasions; however they have been tight affairs, but who will march onto the semi-finals next weekend?

To answer that question the team news is of course vital. The Wolves have a surprise omission in their squad with no Josh Thewlis, the young winger who has been nominated for the Young Player of the Year being absent.

Thewlis returned for the Wolves last week to replace the ill Matty Ashton but this week Thewlis is out and Ashton is back.

Matty Russell will start on the other wing and fortunately playmaker George Williams is still fit to feature.

As for Saints, they have left out Konrad Hurrell. It is the last home game for James Roby and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.