SAINTS have announced their squad for Friday’s Super League XVIII Round 8 match with Salford City Reds.
Paul Wellens returns from injury whilst Nathan Ashe is also named for the first time this season.
Josh Perry is also recalled alongside potential debutant Dom Speakman (pictured).
Nathan Brown will choose from:
1. Paul Wellens, 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Sia Soliola, 5. Francis Meli, 6. Lance Hohaia, 8. Josh Perry, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Josh Jones, 21. Tom Makinson, 23. Nathan Ashe, 25. Alex Walmsley, 31. Dom Speakman.
Alan Hunte will choose his Salford team from:
2. Jodie Broughton, 3. Ashley Gibson, 4. Martin Gleeson, 5. Danny Williams, 7. Liam Foran, 9. Stuart Howarth, 11. Matty Ashurst, 12. Andrew Dixon, 13. Stephen Wild, 14. Wayne Godwin, 15. Chris Nero, 18. Ryan Boyle, 19. Jordan James, 20. Adam Neal, 21. Theo Fages, 22. Marc Sneyd, 23. Ryan McGoldrick, 24. Gareth Owen, 27. Darrell Griffin.
The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee is Phil Bentham.
Brown is acutely aware of how dangerous Salford are.
He said: “I watched them against Warrington and I thought they competed well. They have a lot of young kids and new imports in there too and hopefully they can stay injury free and get through Easter. They will get some wins for sure and we have to make sure that win doesn’t come against us.
“I’m sure when they do get a coach or whatever they decide to do they can find some stability and move forward. They’re a dangerous team with plenty of pace.
“It’s good for the game that Marwan Koukash has come in. He is known throughout the world for his passion for horse racing and if he can bring that to rugby league it can only benefit the game.
“He can only make Salford better too. I’d rather be facing a Salford that have a genuine top four chance as it is better for the game. It makes all the players better playing against good players week in week out.
Salford are seeking their first away win against St Helens for more than thirty years – and the first in the summer era. They have previously lost all fifteen matches at Knowsley Road since 1997, one game at Widnes’ Stobart Stadium in 2011 and one at Langtree Park in 2012.
Salford last won at St Helens on 12 January, 1980 (18-17). The Saints have won 28 consecutive home meetings since then.
Salford’s last home win over St Helens was 42-34 at The Willows on 15 May, 2010 – with Saints winning five consecutive games against the City Reds since then.
Super League Summary:
St Helens won 27
Salford won 4
Ups and Downs:
St Helens highest score: 66-16 (H, 2001) (Widest margin: 58-4, A, 2000)
Salford highest score: 42-34 (H, 2010) (Widest margin: 39-26, H, 1997)
Willie Manu needs one appearance to reach 200 whilst in the British game.
He has played for Castleford (24 games, 2006), Hull FC (165 games, 2007-2012) and St Helens (7 games, 2013).
He has also played in all three of The Exiles’ games against England.
1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 85
2 Tom Briscoe (Hull FC) 79
3 Andy Lynch (Hull FC/Bradford Bulls) 75
4 = Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos) 58
Willie Manu (St Helens/Hull FC) 58
Most Consecutive Appearances at Other Clubs:
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (32 – has the longest streak of just Saints games)