Justin Holbrook would have “no issue” playing Jack Welsby at Wembley

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook would have no problem starting Jack Welsby in the Challenge Cup final should Lachlan Coote fail to return from injury.

Scotland international Coote has not played in almost a month due to a knee problem but is on track to be fit for the Challenge Cup final against Warrington in two weeks.

But should Coote not be fit enough to play at Wembley, Holbrook would have no hesitation in starting 18-year-old Jack Welsby, who put in a man of the match display in Saints’ 32-10 win over the Wolves on Thursday.

Holbrook said: “We’ve thrown him in a number of times this year but we will be pushing to have Coote back for that game and he is still on track with his recovery but if we had to play Jack then we would have no issue.

“Jack has had a few games with us now and he is getting better every week. He is a good player to coach because he is a good listener. He has improved each time he has played and he was terrific for us against Warrington.

“It was excellent for a young player like that to make that tackle [on Ben Murdoch-Masila] and that is the type of area he has been working on.

“He has probably been doing too much in his first few games like carrying the ball like a front-rower! I told him that he can do it in academy but it is not needed here. He has made lots of little changes in his game so I’m happy for him to play so well tonight.”

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