Paul Wellens and Matty Smith have named their squads for this Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup Semi-Finals at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington.
Our Women’s side are up first and will take on York Valkyrie at 11:45am, with the First Team facing Leigh Leopards at 2:30pm. A win for either Saints side would see them book their spot in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, 12th August.
Wellens makes three changes to last week’s squad who were just edged out to a defeat against the current Super League leaders Catalans Dragons by 12 points to 14.
Tommy Makinson, Joe Batchelor, and Tee Ritson have been selected for the 21-man team and could make their returns to action following injuries that have ruled them out in recent weeks.
Mark Percival and James Roby step out of the side that was previously announced due to head injury protocols which saw them leave the field last Thursday night, and Curtis Sironen is the other change from last week’s squad.
Leigh Leopards are enjoying a fantastic season after securing promotion to the top flight for the fourth time last autumn, they’ve recruited strongly and sit 2nd in the league table as we go into this Challenge Cup weekend.
Extra motivation for a Semi-Final to go to Wembley won’t be needed, but Saints will be out for revenge too after suffering a late defeat at the Leigh Sports Village back in March, 20-12.
St. Helens 21-man squad vs Leigh Leopards
1. Jack Welsby ,2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Will Hopoate, 5. Jon Bennison, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 8. Alex Walmsley, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Sione Mata’utia, 12. Joe Batchelor, 13. Morgan Knowles, 14. Joey Lussick, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 17. Agnatius Paasi, 19. James Bell, 20. Dan Norman, 21. Ben Davies, 22. Sam Royle, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 25. Tee Ritson, 30. George Delaney.
Saints Women’s Head Coach Matty Smith has named his 21-woman squad to take on York Valkyrie, with three notable inclusions possibly set to feature.
Captain Jodie Cunningham is back available for selection following knee surgery in June, and could make her first appearance since the Red V’s win over Leeds Rhinos at Headingley in May.
Zoe Harris could also feature after picking up a knock during the Saints’ game against York at the Women’s Nines Finals Day in June.
It could be a big day too for Lucie Sams who is named in the 21-woman squad for the first time this season since joining St. Helens from Wigan Warriors in the off-season.
Young centre Erin Stott who recently joined the Saints and has impressed in league matches against Huddersfield and Warrington is cup-tied and therefore unavailable for selection.
The winning side between St. Helens and York Valkyrie will make history as the first women’s rugby league team to go to Wembley for the Challenge Cup Final.
21-woman squad vs York Valkyrie
1. Rebecca Rotheram, 2. Luci McColm, 3. Eboni Partington, 4. Naomi Williams, 6. Zoe Harris, 7. Faye Gaskin, 8. Shona Hoyle, 9. Tara Jones, 10. Chantelle Crowl, 11. Paige Travis, 12. Emily Rudge, 13. Jodie Cunningham, 14. Vicky Whitfield, 15. Lucie Sams, 16. Darcy Stott, 17. Philippa Birchall, 18. Alyx Bridge, 19. Katie Mottershead, 21. Amy Taylor, 25. Danielle McGifford, 28. Phoebe Hook.
For the first time ever, the Men’s and Women’s Finals will be played at the national stadium on the same day – and St. Helens could have two sides there for what would be another historic occasion for our club in its 150th year.
Over 5,000 of the Saints faithful are going to be in attendance, and we encourage supporters to get down early to cheer on both our Saints sides!