St Helens able to field one of strongest sides of the campaign against Leeds Rhinos

There will be a new head coach in the Leeds dugout after the trouncing by Saints at Headingy earlier in the season.

Kristian Woolf, St Helens head coach.
Kristian Woolf, St Helens head coach.
Kristian Woolf, St Helens head coach.

St Helens’ five England internationals returned unscathed from the week-end showdown with the Combined Nations All Stars and all are included in Kristian Woolf’s 21-man squad for Thursday’s Super League clash with Leeds Rhinos at the Totally Wicked Stadium (kick-off 8pm).

So, too, are Jonny Lomax and Morgan Knowles, who pulled out of the international against the Combined Nations All Stars, but there is no place for the suspended James Bell and Sione Mata’utia, as well as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook who is suffering from a facial injury.

Head coach Kristian Woolf said: "A Saints-Leeds clash is always one of the headline matches of the season with both having a rich history and we are excited and well prepared.’’

Since their last Super League meeting in April at Headingley, which the table-toppers won 26-0, the West Yorkshire club have recruited a new coach in Australian Rohan Smith who took the opportunity to run the rule over Saints a few weeks ago.

He has locked horns with Woolf Down Under and like St Helens he will no doubt have his players fired-up for the big occasion.

‘’From what I know, he is an intelligent bloke and very diligent and will want to make a statement for his new club, " said Woolf.

Smith will be boosted by the fact he will be able to field one of his strongest sides of the campaign with key men Matt Prior and Aidan Sezer available and ex-Saints forward Jame Bentley back following his latest suspension.

Saints’ squad: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Will Hopoate, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles, Joey Lussick, Curtis Sironen, Agnatius Paasi, Jake Wingfield, Josh Simm, Ben Davies, Konrad Hurrell, Dan Norman, Sam Royle, Jon Bennison, Dan Hill.

Leeds squad: David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman, Liam Sutcliffe, Ash Hanley, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior, James Bentley, Rhyse Martin, Zane Tetevano, Brad Dwyer, Richie Myler, Cameron Smith, Bodene Thompson, Sam Walters, Jarrod O’Connor, James Donaldson, Max Simpson, Zak Hardaker.

Saints’ Women are also in action against the Rhinos in a curtain-raiser to the main event (kick-off 5.30pm).

Squad: Rebecca Rotheram, Carrie Roberts, Amy Hardcastle, Leah Burke, Zoe Harris, Vicky Whitfield, Tara Jones, Chantelle Crowl, Paige Travis, Emily Rudge, Jodie Cunningham, Naomi Williams, Beth Stott, Darcy Stott, Eboni Partington, Rachael Woosey, Isabella Rudge, Alice Sandham, Shona Hoyle, Megan Bragg