St Helens will look to bounce back from their World Club Challenge drubbing against South Sydney Rabbitohs when they host Castleford on Friday night.
Lance Hohaia, Greg Richards and Matty Dawson all come into Saints’ 19 man squad with Jordan Turner, Paul Wellens and Andre Savelio all dropping out.
Head coach Kieron Cunningham said that the defeat to Souths would not have a huge impact on his squad selection for Friday’s visit of the Tigers. “I’m not going to panic and make rash decisions. We lost to the best team in the world;” he told BBC Radio Merseyside. “Just because of a one-off game, it would be quite foolish of me to try and make wholesale changes.”
Saints hold something of an Indian sign over Castleford, who have not won away against them in the league since a 29-16 triumph in 1990. Saints home dominance over the Tigers has included wins at Anfield (1997), Widnes (2011), and four times at Langtree Park since 2012, following their move there from Knowsley Road.
Castleford’s last win over St Helens came back in 2008. Since then the Red Vee have won 14 in a row against Friday’s opponents.
Tommy Makinson usually enjoys facing Cas, the winger has bagged nine tries in his last six appearances against them.
Two offseason recruits are in line to make their debuts for the Tigers, as Mike McMeeken and Matt Cook have both overcome injuries and have been added to the squad.
Coach Daryl Powell has spoken of his excitement at seeing second-rower McMeeken make his debut; “I’ve been real impressed with Mike. As a young professional, I think he’s spot on physically. He’s got a lot of skills and he’s ready to play and I think this is a perfect game for him,” he told Sportinglife.com.
Jordan Tansey has impressed at full-back and retains his place despite Luke Dorn recovering from injury. Hooker Adam Milner is also included in the 19 man squad after recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss last weeks defeat to Catalan.
St Helens 19 man squad:
1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Travis Burns, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Atelea Vea, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Alex Walmsley, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Lance Hohaia, 17. Mark Percival, 18. Luke Thompson, 19. Greg Richards, 21. Joe Greenwood, 22. Matty Dawson.
Castleford 19 man squad:
4. Michael Shenton, 5. Justin Carney, 6. Ben Roberts, 7. Luke Gale, 8. Andy Lynch, 9. Adam Milner, 10. Grant Millington, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Matt Cook, 13. Nathan Massey, 15. Ryan Boyle, 16. Junior Moors, 17. Scott Moore, 19. Scott Wheeldon, 20. Denny Solomona, 21. Liam Finn, 22. Jordan Tansey, 23. Michael Channing, 24. Mike McMeeken.