Duo return for St Helens as Paul Wellens confirms decision on bans

Drew Darbyshire
Paul Wellens St Helens News Images

St Helens coach Paul Wellens has confirmed they are set to welcome back captain James Roby and prop Agnatius Paasi for Friday’s trip to Leigh.

Hooker Roby and Tongan powerhouse Paasi have not played since their 13-12 win over Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge almost three weeks ago.

But Wellens has revealed the key duo are likely to return in Friday’s match at Leigh.

However, the world champions will be without three first team regulars due to suspension following their 25-24 defeat to Leeds last Friday. Konrad Hurrell and Sione Mata’utia will sit out of the next two matches. Curtis Sironen is suspended for the Leigh game.

Hurrell was sent off for a late and high hit on Richie Myler just before Blake Austin’s match-winning drop goal. Mata’utia and Sironen were also sin-binned for late hits earlier in the game.

Wellens confirmed the club decided against appealing the verdicts of the match review panel.

Wellens said: “We feel they were fair. We looked at all three incidents to decide whether to appeal or not and we’ve decided not to do that.

“What we need to do is look at how we can improve, and those players in particular; and the rest of the team fell short in our discipline on Friday.

“Those players know they need to be better and they’ve acknowledged that, so we’ve started the process of working on where we can improve. I hope we can get those improvements sooner rather than later.”

Paul Wellens wants to see a positive response

Wellens wants to see a positive response from his Saints players this week.

He added: “We need to channel our frustrations in the right way.

“I love the fact that our players are upset. I love the fact they care and they’re desperate to win.

“That’s what makes us successful. But at the same time, when things don’t go our way, we need to handle them a little better at times.”

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