Mark Percival will have his testimonial on Friday evening with St Helens scheduled to take on Widnes at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The game will mark Percival’s 11th season as a Saint and should all things go well in 2023 then the centre will surpass 200 Super League appearances for the side.
Following the match against Widnes the Red Vee will head down under to context the World Club Challenge and new head coach, Paul Wellens, has detailed that as as a target to honour their 28-year-old centre.
At present Percival is injured and will not feature in his own special match unfortunately as he recovers from a knee injury but per Paul Wellens he’ll be on the way to Australia to stake a claim at the illustrious title of best club in the world.
On the testimonial 26-man squad Wellens revealed the anguish at excluding Percival, in comments shared to the club website.
“Obviously Mark is disappointed, but I don’t think that will in any way detract from the occasion and celebration of Mark’s Saints career. I am sure the Saints faithful recognise what Mark has contributed to this club for the last ten years, and I’m sure he will be hugely supported.
“Quite often when you don’t pick a player to play it is because you feel they are carrying a knock, actually in Mark’s case it’s quite the opposite. He has come back into training with the team and it’s great to have him back, he’s training really well, hitting all his markers what the medical staff have set him.
“Mark understands the bigger picture thinking and how important he is to the team moving forward. We need a fit and firing Mark Percival early on, not just as we go to Australia, but the rest of the rounds in 2023.”
Percival had earlier taken part in a photo shoot that revealed the impressive kit that will be donned on Friday night, as reported here.
He added: “I’ve had some chats with Wello (Wellens) and it’s a difficult one because everything is going great and I feel brilliant but its just what is coming round the corner with the World Club Challenge and I really want to be a part of that and not miss out.
“Even though it is my game, and it’s difficult to not play, the bigger picture is I want to play against Penrith, I want to play week in and week out for Saints all year and hopefully win five in a row. It’s a big decision that’s had to be made but it’s definitely the right one going forward. It’s more time to get more good training in and keep going as I have been doing the last few weeks.
“I am still looking forward to going there, seeing the fans, watch the lads play, and thank you all for their support over the last ten years.”
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