Winger Tommy Makinson, who has missed Saints’ last four Betfred Super League fixtures due to a hamstring injury, is champing at the bit to pull on the famous red-vee shirt once more - and his chance will come on Sunday when the defending champions entertain unpredictable Castleford Tigers in front of Channel 4 cameras (kick-off 1pm).
Despite his four march absence, the 30-year-old England international is still the third top try scorer in the competition on 17 - four adrift of Salford’s Ken Sio and seven behind Wigan’s Aussie Bevan French - and his timely return to action is a shot-in-the-arm after last weekend’s sloppy and below-par performance against the Red Devils at the A.J. Bell Stadium.
Two points will be Makinson’s top target but he will also be chasing a personal milestone - his 150th Super League try since making his debut for the club in February 2011.
Saints, however, will still be minus a string of first team players through injury and suspension and looking more vulnerable than at any stage this year, but things can change in a twinkling of an eye and Kristian Woolf’s side are quite capable of rising to the growing challenge from their nearest rivals as they seek a record-breaking fourth successive Grand Final victory.
Squad: 1. Jack Welsby, 2. Tommy Makinson, 6. Jonny Lomax, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Matty Lees, 12. Joe Batchelor, 13. Morgan Knowles, 14. Joey Lussick, 15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Curtis Sironen, 19. Jake Wingfield, 20. James Bell, 22. Ben Davies, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 24. Dan Norman, 26. Sam Royle, 27. Jon Bennison, 28. Lewis Baxter, 29. Dan Hill, 31. Taylor Pemberton.