Following the international break St Helens have a tough task with a trip to France to take on Catalans Dragons, with kick-off at 7.45pm (UK) / 8:45pm (France).
After a strong and convincing performance to get a great victory over Warrington Wolves last time out, the Saints return to league action against a Catalans Dragons side who are looking to turn around their recent run of form in front of their home crowd.
Paul Wellens’ squad were doing it tough with a large number of the pack missing for the Warrington game, but following the week break Alex Walmsley, Curtis Sironen and Jake Wingfield are all back in contention.
Read more about our latest squad news, including an update on Mark Percival, by clicking the image below.
St Helens 21-man squad
1. Jack Welsby, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Will Hopoate, 5. Jon Bennison, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Matty Lees, 12. Joe Batchelor, 14. Joey Lussick, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Curtis Sironen, 18. Jake Wingfield, 19. James Bell, 22. Sam Royle, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 24. Lewis Baxter, 25. Tee Ritson, 30. George Delaney, 34. Wesley Bruines
Catalans Dragons 20-man squad
1. Arthur Mourgue, 2. Tom Davies, 3. Adam Keighran, 6. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Mike McMeeken, 10. Julian Bousquet, 11. Matt Whitley, 12. Paul Seguier, 13. Benjamin Garcia, 15. Mickael Goudemand, 16. Romain Navarrete, 17. César Rouge, 18. Tiaki Chan, 19. Arthur Romano, 21. Matt Ikuvalu, 22. Siua Taukeiaho, 23. Jordan Dezaria, 24. Tom Johnstone, 26. Manu Ma’u, 29. Sam Tomkins.
WELLENS PREPPED FOR DRAGONS AT THEIR BEST
After being impressed by the Red V’s resilient mentality in the win over the Wire, the boss knows how tough a battle Catalans Dragons will pose despite their recent record in the league.
Saints TV subscribers can watch Paul Wellens’ full match preview!
Should James Roby take to the field, it would be his 531st match appearance for St Helens R.F.C., matching the all-time club appearance record with the iconic Kel Coslett.
After making his debut back on March 19th 2004, Roby is set to match a record that has stood for over 45 years set by the Welshman, Coslett. Across a 20-year career, Roby has served the Saints with distinction and should all go to plan, he will further solidify his legend as the ‘Greatest of All Time’ with this Friday’s match appearance matching the record, and next Saturday at home against Salford Red Devils to break it.
A LOOK AT OUR OPPOSITION…
2023 is somewhat a changing of the guard for the Dragons. Despite coming third in 2022, the Dragons were perhaps a little inconsistent to the high standards many have come to expect from them following their League Leaders’ Shield and maiden Grand Final season in 2021.
10 players left the club ahead of 2023 and Steve McNamara brought in some real quality in players such as Tom Johnstone, Manu Ma’u, Siua Taukeiaho and Adam Keighran alongside their ever increasing pool of French talent.
Players such as Arthur Mourgue and Arthur Romano have shown brights spots of their talent with their best years still very much in front of them. At the other end there is Sam Tomkins who is looking to end his career on a high this season – whilst there is still no love lost with the former Wigan man – you can’t deny his star power which saw him earn the Man of Steel award in 2021.
The 2023 season started brilliantly for the Dragons, earning straight wins in a row before being just edged past by Warrington at home. Since that loss they have gone on to also lose to Huddersfield and Salford on the road. So to say they will be highly motivated is putting it lightly, they ultimately are a team whose aims are silverware.
Across three meetings last year, the Saints won two time against Catalans, whilst the Dragons got the spoils once albeit in our most recent meeting back in July.
WHAT KIT WILL SAINTS BE WEARING?
As Friday’s game is an away fixture St Helens will be wearing our 2023 Away Kit, which in our milestone 150th year, features our club’s traditional colours of sky blue and navy, with a classic deep V design along with some finer details, including our 150 year crest.
Pick yours up online by visiting saintssuperstore.com!
WHO WILL BE THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE?
The referee for the match between Catalans and the Saints will be Liam Moore, and he will be supported by touch judges Cameron Worsley and Stephan Vincent, and Tom Grant of the video referee.
RECENT RECORD AGAINST CATALANS DRAGONS
Last ten meetings
Catalans Dragons 20, St Helens 18 (SLR17, 2/7/22)
Catalans Dragons 20, St Helens 36 (CCQF, 9/4/22)
St Helens 28, Catalans Dragons 8 (SLR1, 10/2/22)
Catalans Dragons 10, St Helens 12 (SLGF, 9/10/21) (at Old Trafford, Manchester)
Catalans Dragons 31, St Helens 30 (aet) (SLR23, 4/9/21) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle)
St Helens 34, Catalans Dragons 12 (SLR18, 7/8/21)
Catalans Dragons 20, St Helens 16 (SLR7, 22/5/21)
St Helens 48, Catalans Dragons 2 (SLSF, 20/11/20)
St Helens 34, Catalans Dragons 6 (SLR4, 2/8/20) (at Emerald Headingley, Leeds)
St Helens 50, Catalans Dragons 14 (SLR13, 28/4/19)
Super League summary
Saints and Catalans have met 46 times in league action, with the Red V leading the overall head-to-head score with 25 wins to the Dragons 16. Of our 25 wins over the French outfit, two have come in the play-offs in 2014 and 2020, and the big one in 2021 at the Grand Final.
The highest winning Saints score against Catalans came back in a 2007 home game, 53-10, and the Saints’ widest winning margin over the Dragons was in the 2020 semi-final winning 48-2.
RITSON READY FOR FRENCH TEST
The flying Barrow man got a much deserved score against Warrington Wolves, showing how good he can be with not only the ball in hand but defensively too.
Friday’s match in France could be the first time Tee has faced the Dragons and it’s a challenge he is prepped and keen to take on.
Head over to Saints TV to watch the chat with Tee in full!
THE REST OF ROUND 11 IN SUPER LEAGUE
Hull FC vs Wigan Warriors – 8pm
Hull KR vs Huddersfield Giants – 8pm
Leeds Rhinos vs Salford Red Devils – 8pm
Leigh Leopards vs Huddersfield Giants – 8pm
Warrington Wolves vs Wakefield Trinity – 8pm
LMS IN SUPER LEAGUE’S TOP 🔟
It’s been another year to remember for the man who’s name is too long, and the accolades keep coming…
The veteran prop could climb into the outright tenth spot in Super League’s appearance table if he plays against the Dragons on Friday night!
It would mark his 414th match in the top flight, pushing himself above Keith Senior – with ninth spot currently held by Danny Tickle on 419, Louie could find himself moving up the chart very soon again!
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE GAME?
Saints will be covering the match in full across our live Match Centre where you can find out the team news, follow live game updates, get behind the scenes photos and catch up on all the stories of the game.
Our club social media accounts will also keep supporters updated. Follow us on: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Highlights and the full match replay will also be made available for Saints TV subscribers.
The game will also be live on Sky Sports from 7:40pm on Sky Sports Arena.