NATHAN Brown is looking for more continuity in his line up this weekend.
Saints are set to take on Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Jon Wilkin’s Testimonial on Sunday January 20 (3pm) with both sides wanting to hone their skills ahead of the big Super League kick off.
“We made some improvements in key areas during the game against the Giants,” Nathan said, “but we know we have a fair bit of work to do.
“We will look to reduce the number of players this week and some blokes who won’t get the chance to play will probably play Super League this season.
“You’d like to give more an opportunity of a run out but it is good for continuity.”
Saints are likely to have Josh Perry and Tony Puletua in Sunday’s line up but Adam Swift and Paul Clough have knocks.
On the plus side, Gary Wheeler has recovered from illness and is also in contention.
Brown continued: “Any team that wants to do well will need healthy competition in the squad. You also need a fair amount of luck with injury too. We’re lucky that we have older players who have been successful. They train well and compete hard. It’s hard to imagine them not playing unless injury or complacently costs them their position. It is a good example they set and they are doing well.
“The kids have improved because of the experience of training with these older players. Josh Jones nailed his spot last season and has continued to develop.
“Joe Greenwood has done the same too. He is a good young kid, trains hard and is a typical St Helens player as he understands where to play footy and where the space is. If he keeps learning and training he will do well.
“I am comfortable with our squad but we need to keep our key players fit and healthy. If you get a number of injuries in a certain position then it can tell on you. We will need to stay healthy and get some young kids like Jones through too. He did a great job for us and if we get one or two of those each year then it helps bolster the squad.
“Lance Hohaia is a unique player who is good in lots of positions. That is a real benefit for the team but probably detriment to Lance’s career. He has represented his country at 9 and 1, and played a Grand Final at 6. He is a handy player and there isn’t a team in Super League or the NRL that wouldn’t have him in their side. They couldn’t tell you what position to put him in, but they would all want him!”
Tickets for Sunday’s match are now on sale and are priced at £20 adults and £10 concessions (Solarking South Stand allocated and unallocated), and £16/£8 for the Hattons Solicitors West Stand.
Family ticket prices are £50 for two adults and two kids (seating) and £40 for two adults and two kids (standing).
They are available from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on to www.saintssuperstore.com
Nathan reckons the Wildcats will provide a tough test.
“They have really improved and can only be better with Justin Poore in the team. I coached him at St George and he is a good player. Danny Kirmond keeps improving and I think the captaincy has helped him do that.
“Wakefield played some great footy at the back end of last season and I can only see them improving this year too.”