Justin Holbrook: You can’t get bigger than a Wigan v St Helens derby

Drew Darbyshire

Justin Holbrook says the rivalry between Wigan and St Helens is the biggest in Super League as the enemies prepare to battle it out.

The Saints travel to the DW Stadium on Thursday to face the Warriors, 7:45pm kick-off.

St Helens are currently top of the Super League table, eight points above second-placed Wigan, but Saints coach Holbrook is expecting a massive challenge from the injury-hit Warriors.

He said: “You can’t get any bigger rivalry than the one between the two sides.

“We are expecting Wigan to be at their best. They haven’t lost at home this year, so it won’t matter who they send out, they’re going to be playing at their best. We won’t change anything in the way we play, we will just prepare as best we can and look forward to the game on Thursday.

“You can make educated guesses on their line-up and things like that but from now we won’t change the way we play. We need to keep it consistent.

“I’m expecting an absolutely cracking game on Thursday and Good Friday was awesome and if we get the same result as that, we’ll be really happy.”

St Helens have made just one change to the side that won at Hull FC last week, with youngster Jack Ashworth coming in for the injured Zeb Taia.

Holbrook revealed that Matty Lees will get a shot in the derby, with Wales international Morgan Knowles starting in the back-row.

He added: “Morgan Knowles will slot in the back-row, he’s a great player there and Matty Lees will come into the 17 as well.

“Zeb won’t play this week but hopefully it will only be a one or two-week injury. He will only be out for a maximum of a couple of weeks.”

Saints have stayed relatively injury-free this season and Holbrook is not complaining.

He continued: “You never want to leave players out, especially quality players, it’s the hardest part of the job but it’s one that you would rather.

“I would rather have these good headaches rather than being unsure on who to pick.

“It is tough to leave good players out, but it is a good position for me to be in.”

Holbrook also revealed that Ben Barba will definitely face Wigan after coming through last week’s game unscathed. Check out the 19-man squads here.