St Helens boost as Matty Lees ban overturned for top-of-the-table derby against Wigan Warriors

Matty Lees of St Helens. Image: Lewis Storey/Getty ImagesMatty Lees of St Helens. Image: Lewis Storey/Getty Images
Matty Lees of St Helens. Image: Lewis Storey/Getty Images | Getty Images
Just two points now separates St Helens and Wigan Warriors at the top of the Super League table.

Matty Lees is free to play in St Helens’ Magic Weekend blockbuster against their deadly rivals, Wigan Warriors, at St James’ Park, Newcastle.

The Rugby League Disciplinary Committee had imposed a one-match ban on the powerhouse forward on Monday but the decision was overturned on Tuesday night by the Rugby League Review Panel.

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Lees was originally banned for an alleged high tackle in the first half of Saints’ defeat to title rivals the Catalans Dragon in the south of France.

The review panel’s verdict will come as a relief to head coach Kristian Woolf and his players. Lees has been in a rich vein of form this season and his no-nonsense approach will be needed in such a vital fixture against Wigan on Saturday (kick-off 4.45pm).

Woolf will name his 21-man squad at lunch-time on Thursday.

Steve McNamara’s Catalans Dragons blew the Betfred Super League title race wide open at the weekend with a 20-18 defeat of league leaders St Helens.

Saints boss Kristian Woolf expects to have Konrad Hurrell, who missed the trip to the south of France through illness, and injury victim Will Hopoate back for the Magic Weekend and will check on the fitness of Tommy Makinson, who was withdrawn part way through the first half suffering from a hamstring problem.

“It tightened up so we had to get him off quickly but I don’t think it is a tear or anything bad,” said Woolf.

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