St Helens suffer huge injury worry ahead of Good Friday derby against Wigan Warriors

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International prop Alex Walmsley limped off with a suspected hamstring problem in the victory over Wakefield Trinity.

One man doesn’t make a team but both Saints and Wigan have been rocked by similar injuries to key players ahead of Good Friday’s eagerly-awaited derby showdown at the DW Stadium.

The defending champions lost international prop Alex Walmsley with a suspected hamstring problem in the second minute of a 38-0 home win over bottom of the table Wakefield Trinity on Friday night, only 24 hours after the  Warriors playmaker Jai Field had limped off during their 34-6 triumph at Leigh Leopards.

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Both are invaluable players to their club but contribute in completely different areas - Walmsley a blockbusting forward who takes no prisoners and silky skilled Aussie Field whose partnership with fellow countryman Bevan French can open defences in the twinkling of an eye.

Wigan boss Matty Peet has already admitted that Field is ‘99% certain’ to miss the encounter but Saints’ supremo Paul Wellens would go no further than saying: "Alex felt his hamstring and realised he had to leave the field straight away so that isn’t a good sign.

"We will get him assessed and scanned during the next few days but with hamstring injuries I am never really an optimist in terms of a one week turnaround. It’s far too early to say yet."

On the remainder of the squad, he said everyone had come through relatively unscathed, apart from a few bumps and bruise.

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But at the same  time he will know that the champions will need to play much better than they did against Wakefield to earn local bragging rights. Stubborn and resilient Trinity restricted St Helens to a narrow half-time lead but blew them away with a second-half salvo of tries.

Wello said: "There is a lot of expectation on games like this and I believe it’s misguided at times - people expect we’re going to post a lot of points and everyone just sits back and says come and entertain us. It doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to earn your opportunities and respect teams like Wakefield who showed they were very competitive.

St Helens’ Joey Lussick is tackled by Wakefield’s Jay Pitts (Picture: SWPix.com)St Helens’ Joey Lussick is tackled by Wakefield’s Jay Pitts (Picture: SWPix.com)
St Helens’ Joey Lussick is tackled by Wakefield’s Jay Pitts (Picture: SWPix.com)

"In the first half, it was very tough and we knew Wakefield would come here desperate for a win and they showed real  heart and character and I told my guys it might be a night when we have to be patient.

"In a lot of respects, we did a good job in terms of mindset and being patient but on the other hand we coughed-up a lot of ball and it didn’t help our cause."

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However, the head coach will have been pleased with the involvement of the players from the bench, including George Delaney (19) and Sam Royle (23) who hopefully will help be part of the club’s backbone for years to come.

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