Injuries at St Helens opens opportunity for rising prospect to make potential first appearance of season

Josh McAllister
George Delaney, SWPix.

Picture by Paul Currie/

St Helens boss Paul Wellens will give youngster George Delaney a first-team chance after confirming the 19-year-old will will join his 21-man squad for their fixture against Wakefield.

The world champions have been dealt a handful of injuries across recent weeks, including a head knock to back-rower Sione Mata’utia.

The 26-year-old Australian failed his head injury assessment against Huddersfield, forced from the field inside the first minute at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Agnatius Paasi is also fighting fitness for the Super League Round Seven clash at home, while Dan Norman also suffered a blow on dual-registration with Swinton.

The injuries will see prop forward Delaney given the opportunity in the first-team squad, with Wellens not ruling out his chance of making the final 17.

“We’ve got a couple of guys with a few bumps and bruises,” Wellens said during his weekly press conference.

Agnatius Paasi is struggling with his knee at the moment. It’s not a real serious one. He’s trained with us today (Tuesday). But we’ll monitor him over the next 24 hours and hope that he comes through.

“Dan Norman injured his ankle playing on dual-registration with Swinton last week. He’s unavailable at the moment, too.

“In terms of our middle unit, we’re a bit depleted there. We have a young player who has been fantastic on dual-registration for Swinton in George Delaney, who comes into the squad this week.

“He’s a chance of playing.”

George Delaney given shot by St Helens boss

Delaney has made two career appearances for St Helens to date, making his debut in 2022 against Castleford.

He has so far made five appearances for Swinton in the Championship this year, named at starting prop in every game he has featured.

“George has been fantastic over the course of pre-season and the way he’s gone about his work,” Wellens continued.

“When you have a dual-registration situation, sometimes it’s a bit different for players to go and represent a different club.

“But George has probably shown the way it should be done.

“He’s gone there and really bought into what everything Swinton are about.

“I know their coach Allan Coleman has gone on record and spoke highly of George and his contributions since going there and playing for them

“He gets the chance to come into our squad and maybe gets the opportunity to play.

“That’s an opportunity that he’s gone and earned and not one that I’m just giving him for free.

“It speaks volumes of George and the way he goers about his business.”

Wellens provides injury update

Mark Percival could return to action for the first time since being a late withdrawal ahead of their home clash against Hull at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Meanwhile, injury news on forward Jake Wingfield is better than expected.

“Mark (Percival) has come back into the squad,” Wellens said.

“He trained today (Tuesday) on field and came through with no issues at all.

“Should he recover well from today’s session and come through the team run on Thursday morning, then Mark will play. That’s great for us to have a player of Mark’s calibre back in the team.”

On Wingfield, Wellens added: “That’s not going to be a long-term thing.

“We’re hoping that he might be OK for the derby next weekend.

“If not, it’ll be the week after.

“Jake has improved massively over the last four or five days and the physios are really happy with his progress.”

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