Challenge Cup final squad news: Fages, Lees included, Castleford make 12 changes

Theo Fages returns for St Helens

St Helens and Castleford have named their 21-man squads for Saturday’s Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf has made just one change to his side that won at Wakefield last weekend. France international Theo Fages comes in for the suspended Sione Mata’utia. Mata’utia picked up a two-match ban from the Wakefield game, which was reduced to one-match on appeal.

Saints prop Matty Lees retains his place in the squad after coming through last week’s match unscathed following his ankle injury.

As for Castleford, coach Daryl Powell has named a strong squad with 12 changes from the side that lost to Salford last time out. Niall Evalds, Derrell Olpherts, Mata’utia, Jake Trueman, Paul McShane, Adam Milner, Nathan Massey, George Griffin, Daniel Smith, Suaia Matagi, Jordan Turner and Gareth O’Brien all return.

St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Thompson, Knowles, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Amor, Paasi, Welsby, Smith, Batchelor, Dodd, Simm, Norman.

Castleford: Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, Blair, Milner, Massey, Griffin, Foster, Clare, Sene-Lefao, Smith, Matagi, Turner, O’Brien.

The Challenge Cup final kicks off at 3pm, with the 1895 Cup final between Featherstone and York due to get the day underway at 12pm.

However, the 1895 Cup final between Featherstone and York is in doubt due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Rovers camp.

Featherstone, who sit at the top of the Championship table alongside Toulouse, have notified the Rugby Football League that they’ve had a number of positive tests for Covid-19 which have raised concerns about their ability to play in the 1895 Cup final against the City Knights at Wembley on Saturday.

The RFL’s multiple cases group have determined that additional round of PCR tests for the Rovers squad should be conducted on Thursday evening. The results will be received overnight and a decision on whether the game goes ahead will be made on Friday morning.

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