Three academy graduates drafted into St Helens 21-man squad for Wakefield Trinity trip

Will Hopoate, Morgan Knowles and Sione Mata’utia are all out for the defending champions.

<p>Sione Mata'utia is suspended for three matches. Picture: SWPix</p>

Sione Mata'utia is suspended for three matches. Picture: SWPix

Academy graduates Lewis Baxter, Taylor Pemberton and George Delaney have been drafted into Saints’ 21-man squad for Sunday’s Betfred Super League match at Wakefield Trinity, kick-off 3pm.

The trio replace the injured Will Hopoate and suspended duo Morgan Knowles and Sione Mata’utia as the defending champions hope to strengthen their grip at the top of the table after Wigan’s thrashing at Leeds on Thursday night.

But Saints don’t need reminding that in March they faced Toulouse Olympique - then anchored at the foot of the table - and it ended in an out-of-the-blue 22-20 defeat.

Now the West Yorkshire strugglers are rooted in 12th spot but the league leaders’ head coach Kristian Woolf is taking nothing for granted, pointing out that both teams will be extra keen to pick up the points for different reasons.

Woolf said: “In the three years I have been here, Wakefield have presented us with a real challenge and I expect the same on Sunday. They will also be chancing their hand with a couple of things and like ourselves will be desperate for victory.”

He added:”I will be looking for us to produce a repeat of the performance against Huddersfield Giants last week and confident we can do so.”

Tickets are available to purchase online until noon on Saturday and then on the turnstiles at Wakefield.

Saints’ squad: 1. Jack Welsby, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Jonny Lomax, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Matty Lees, 12. Joe Batchelor, 14. Joey Lussick, 15. LMS, 16. Curtis Sironen, 17. Agnatius Paasi, 19. Jake Wingfield, 20. James Bell, 22. Ben Davies, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 24. Dan Norman, 27. Jon Bennison, 28. Lewis Baxter, 29. Dan Hill, 31. Taylor Pemberton, 34. George Delaney.