Super League Preview: St Helens v Salford

Paul Wellens returns to the St Helens squad for Friday’s visit of Salford, but there is no place for Jonny Lomax.

Lomax has filled the full-back berth well during Wellens’ absence through injury, with Lance Hohaia and Jon Wilkin forming an effective partnership in the halves.

Prop Josh Perry returns to the squad for the first time since the win at Widnes, while youngster Dom Speakman is in line to make his first team debut.

Salford, once again under the stewardship of former Saints player Alan Hunte, will be looking for just their second win of the season.

New signing Vic Mauro is absent, but fellow ex-Manly player Liam Foran is likely to provide the main menace to a Saints team, looking for their straight win.

Reds back-rower Andrew Dixon will line-up against his former club.

St Helens 19-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Perry, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Clough, Jones, Makinson, Ashe, Walmsley, Speakman.

Salford 19-man squad: Broughton, Gibson, Gleeson, Williams, Foran, Howarth, Ashurst, Dixon, Wild, Godwin, Nero, Boyle, James, Neal, Fages, Sneyd, McGoldrick, Owen, Griffin.

Prediction: Resurgent Saints will be too strong for struggling Salford – home win.

Stats:

Salford are seeking their first away win against St Helens for over thirty years – and the first in the summer era. They have previously lost all fifteen matches at Knowsley Road since 1997, one game at Widnes’ Stobart Stadium in 2011 and one at Langtree Park in 2012.

Salford last won at St Helens on 12 January, 1980 (18-17). The Saints have won 28 consecutive home meetings since then. 

Salford’s last home win over St Helens was 42-34 at The Willows on 15 May, 2010 – with Saints winning five consecutive games against the City Reds since then.

Super League summary:

St Helens won 27
Salford won 4
St Helens highest score: 66-16 (H, 2001) (Widest margin: 58-4, A, 2000)
Salford highest score: 42-34 (H, 2010) (Widest margin: 39-26, H, 1997)

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