St Helens welcome back trio including huge boost
St Helens welcome back duo Konrad Hurrell and Sione Mata’utia from their respective suspensions ahead of Thursday’s fixture with Huddersfield in Super League.
Outside-back Will Hopoate has also returned to full training, head coach Paul Wellens has revealed.
The Tonga international featured in the club’s World Club Challenge victory over Penrith in Australia. However, he has been sidelined ever since with a reoccurring hamstring injury.
Hopoate was limited to just 12 appearances in his debut year in England in 2022. He had been working with the club’s head physio during pre-season to work on the injury.
“Will is back in full training now,” Wellens said. “He’s moving really well and he’s integrated back into a full routine.
“He probably could have played last week but we took the sensible option. Will Hopoate returning, Sione Mata’utia returning as well as Konrad Hurrell, it’s a huge boost for us.”
Hurrell and Mata’utia have been forced to watch from the sidelines for the last two weeks following their respective bans.
Hurrell, 31, received a red card against Leeds and was charged with a Grade C strikes offence. Back-rower Mata’utia, 26, was sent to the sin-bin in the same fixture. He later received a Grade C dangerous contact charge.
St Helens boss on injuries
St Helens have endured an injury-hit start to the season following their trip Down Under in February, especially on their edges.
England international Joe Batchelor sustained an ankle injury against St George Illawarra Dragons, ruling him out for up to 10 weeks back in February.
Mark Percival was a late withdrawal ahead of their Round Five fixture with Hull, replaced by off-season recruit Tee Ritson for his second Super League appearance.
Ben Davies is also set to be sidelined for up to six weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage in the win over Hull at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
“There’s been a fair bit of disruption there,” Wellens said.
“It’s kind of something that doesn’t really happen so early on in the season. You usually get a couple of niggles throughout the course of the year.
“But we have been challenged in that area through injuries and suspensions. Hopefully we can now get back to some consistency there with the team that we pick and the edges out there.
“As we all know, Curtis Sironen, Sione Mata’utia and Joe Batchelor, when he’s fit, are some of the best back-rowers in the competition.
“Having them out on the field as often is possible will be a massive boost for us.”
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