St Helens coach says Catalans Dragons clash will produce ‘the kind of rugby everyone wants to see’

Kristian Woolf expects the French side to bring the best out of Saints in the Challenge Cup clash.

<p>Jack Welsby of St Helens breaks the tackle of Fouad Yaha of Catalans Dragons. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images</p>

Jack Welsby of St Helens breaks the tackle of Fouad Yaha of Catalans Dragons. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

No one needs to tell Saints’ head coach Kristian Woolf the importance of Saturday’s winner-takes-all Betfred Challenge Cup tie against the Catalans Dragons at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.

Victory will not only take the holders 80 minutes from the final for the second successive year but also act as a confidence-booster to the players in their bid to achieve a record-breaking fourth Super League title.

Woolf said: “It’s going to be a real physical and high quality encounter, particularly down the middle.

“This season’s opening Super League home match against the Dragons was also intense and the same could be said about our meeting in the 2021 Old Trafford Grand Final.’

“I expect it to be similar at the weekend but we couldn’t be better prepared for the challenge in front of us which is something the players will thrive on.

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“We will go there knowing what’s on the line but I’m confident it will bring the best out of us.

“It’s the type of fixture which pulls in the crowds and produces the kind of rugby everyone wants to see.”

Woolf revealed that winger Regan Grace, who missed the earlier part of the campaign due to a bicep injury and only returned to first team action at Whitehaven in the cup win, is now sidelined with a hamstring problem and will be out of action for three or four fixtures depending on how he responds to treatment.