Will Hopoate back in St Helens squad for ‘biggest game of the season’ at Catalans Dragons

<p>Will Hopoate. Picture: SWPix</p>

Will Hopoate. Picture: SWPix

Flying winger Tommy Makinson, who has pulled on the icon Saints’ shirt no fewer than 270 times, hit the nail on the head when he described Saturday’s Betfred Challenge Cup quarter final tie against the Catalans Dragons in the south of France as ‘the biggest game of the season so far.’

The 30-year-old England international said: “It has all the makings of a belter and the lads are looking forward to what will be a difficult challenge.

“There has been a growing rivalry between the clubs over recent years and that is good for the sport in general.

“We defeated Castleford in the final at Wembley last year and everyone is hungry for more success by winning all three trophies on offer in 2022.”

The final of the competition will be played at the new 62,850 capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the first time in RL history and Makinson feels it will add extra spice to the occasion, whoever reaches the showpiece tie on Saturday, May 28.

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Will Hopoate returns for the Anglo-French encounter after missing the last three games due to a hamstring injury picked up against Warrington Wolves, head coach Kristian Woolf revealed earlier this week. He comes in for Josh Simm.

Alex Walmsley is again named in the squad after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury and is in-line to return in the starting 13.

Matty Lees also comes back into the squad as Jake Wingfield drops out after failing his head assessment in the win over Leeds Rhinos.

James Bell is the third Saint to come in as he has now recovered from injury and replaces veteran Kyle Amor.

Squad: 1.Jack Welsby, 2, Tommy Makinson, 3. Will Hopoate, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Matty Lees, 12. Joe Batchelor, 13. Morgan Knowles, 14. Joey Lussick, 15. LMS, 16. Curtis Sironen, 17. Agnatius Paasi, 20. James Bell, 22. Ben Davies, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 24. Dan Norman, 26. Sam Royle, 27. Jon Bennison.