NATHAN Brown expects Lance Hohaia to return to the line-up this Friday when Saints take on Leeds Rhinos.
The Kiwi injured his foot during July’s win in London but has recovered in time for the trip to Headingley.
“The last couple of weeks have been good for us and importantly we went into it on the back of a win,” Brown said. “That has given us confidence ahead of this week. It’s a boost that Lance will come back too. He’s trained with us for the last fortnight and hasn’t been rushed in anyway.
“It’s huge to have him back. Lance knows his way around and has had a good year for us.
“There’s a lot at stake on Friday. Realistically, if we win two games then nothing can change on the ladder. We will go into all three games as underdogs and that isn’t a bad thing but probably right with the number of people we have missing.”
Saints head into Friday’s game four points clear of Leeds who will be buoyed by their Challenge Cup win at the weekend.
Historically, it can be difficult to back up the week after a Final appearance but Brown is expecting the usual tough match in Yorkshire.
“Let’s be honest, it’s always hard playing Leeds,” he said. “They have been together for a long time and retained that nucleus of players. That has been the key cornerstone of their success.
“If they go lose someone they replace with someone good or better. When Keith Senior moved on Kallum Watkins came in. They needed another centre so they brought in Joel Moon. That’s what Leeds do; they are well run at the top and whatever coach they bring in always seems to be right for the team.
“I enjoy going to Headingley. It is a good field and you have to rise to the challenge. The players enjoy going there too and if you do well you deserve a pat on the back.
“We know what they are capable of at their best, so all we can do is prepare for that.”
Tickets for Friday’s match at Headingley (kick off 8pm) remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.