Kristian Woolf: St Helens coach provides injury update ahead of France trip

Ben Olawumi
Kristian Woolf St Helens

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf has both good and bad news on the injury front ahead of his side’s Challenge Cup quarter-final trip to Catalans Dragons.

In search of a second consecutive Challenge Cup after success at Wembley against Castleford Tigers in 2021, Woolf’s side beat part-timers Whitehaven in the last round.

They also picked up a third Grand Final win on the bounce in October, beating this weekend’s opponents Catalans 12-10 at Old Trafford.

And ahead of their trip over the English Channel on Saturday, Woolf welcomes four players back into contention.

“We’ll definitely have (Alex) Walmsley back. Matty Lees is back and Will Hopoate will be back too. James Bell is also available again as well so it’s great to have those four guys back,” Woolf said.

“They’re obviously big players for us, experienced players, and they have a real ‘know how’ in big games, so it’s just great to have them all back with us.

“We’re expecting a physical game and the type of game that our blokes really relish. We’ve put together the best possible preparation and we’re in a really good position in terms of how we’ve been playing.

“We’re ready to go over there, get into the game with real excitement and a confidence of what we’re capable of.”

St Helens without injured Regan Grace, confirms Kristian Woolf

Regan Grace St Helens SWpix

Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

Saints will however still be without Welsh winger Regan Grace, who scored against the Dragons in a 34-12 home win last year.

Woolf also provided an update on his return, which is still some time away, saying: “He picked up another little injury in the game against Whitehaven and now he’s picked up a sort of hamstring injury.

“He’s going to be out for another three to four weeks at this stage but we’re confident that’s as long as it will possibly be.

“Hopefully it’s on the shorter side, he’s had a bit of an unlucky start to the year in that sense, but there’s a lot of footy ahead of him because we’ve got big games ahead of us.

“He gets the opportunity to come in really fresh and add to us for the back half of the year.”

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