Percival and Taia join Roby on the sidelines for Saints; Giants hit too

James Gordon

St Helens have lost two more key players as they look to bounce back from only their second defeat of the season this weekend.

Justin Holbrook’s men welcome Huddersfield to the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night having suffered a 24-20 reverse at Wakefield on Sunday.

With captain James Roby missing with a rib injury, they are also without centre Mark Percival through suspension and back-rower Zeb Taia through an unspecified injury.

They join long-term injury victim Alex Walmsley and winger Adam Swift on the sidelines.

It means a call-up for the off-season signing from Bradford, James Bentley, who is yet to make his debut for Saints but has made nine appearances this season for Sheffield Eagles.

Also called in the 19-man squad is Jack Ashworth, while fellow youngster Matty Costello retains his place having missed out on a debut last week.

Huddersfield too have their fair share of absentees, Danny Brough added to that list this week as he was handed a suspension for abusing a match official.

That leaves them without six of their first 13 squad numbers, a list that includes Jake Mamo, Jermaine McGillvary and Leroy Cudjoe.

It could be a final game in charge for Chris Thorman as interim head coach, with speculation mounting that the Giants are due to make a permanent appointment.

St Helens 19-man squad: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Fages, Smith, Amor, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Knowles, Thompson, Peyroux, Richardson, Grace, Lees, Ashworth, Barba, Bentley, Costello.

Huddersfield: Turner, Murphy, Gaskell, Ikahihifo, Leeming, Wakeman, Hinchcliffe, Rankin, Roberts, Ta’ai, Clough, Smith, Walne, Mellor, McIntosh, Dickinson, Roche, Wood, I Senior.