Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
Catalans Dragons 19 man squad: Escaré, Pomeroy, Tonga, Dureau, Elima, Henderson, Taia, Anderson, Bosc, Lima, Pelissier, Whitehead, Garcia, Bousquet, Maria, Baitieri, Robin, Gigot, Inu
St Helens 19 man squad: Turner, Jones, Swift, Burns, Walsh, Masoe, Roby, Amor, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Walmsley, Flanagan, Percival, Thompson, Richards, Greenwood, Dawson, Savelio, Fleming, Quinlan
Last Five Meetings
Catalans Dragons 33-26 St Helens – Round 14, 2015
St Helens 18-7 Catalans Dragons – Round 1, 2015
St Helens 30-12 Catalans Dragons – Qualifying Semi-Final, 2014
Catalans Dragons 42-0 St Helens – Round 16, 2014
St Helens 40-22 Catalans Dragons – Round 5, 2014
Coach Keiron Cunningham has vowed that St Helens will use the pain of their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat as motivation for a Grand Final assault ahead of their trip to Catalans Dragons.
The reigning Super League champions were beaten 24-14 by Leeds Rhinos in a classic cup encounter last week, and now face a daunting trip to the South of France.
“The season starts again. The format is new to everybody and after the disappointment of the cup loss you can look at it one or two ways; you can sit and cry and feel sorry for yourself, or you can use it as some sort of motivation,” Cunningham told The St Helens Star.
“We have to use the pain and sting of that loss – the players will see Leeds walking out at Wembley and think it should have been them. We have to use that as a motivation.”
Atelea Vea, only recently back from injury, will miss out with a knee problem and has been replaced in the squad by Matty Fleming.
Catalans Dragons, who this week announced the capture of Leeds hooker Paul Aiton on a three-year-deal from 2016, are without a host of star names.
Todd Carney, Michael Oldfield, Vincent Duport, Remi Casty, Greg Mounis and Fouad Yaha will all miss out.
Prediction: St Helens by 18. The Dragons may have an impressive home record against their opponents but are in shocking form having lost their last five matches, and are without some key players. While Saints will be bruised, both physically and mentally, from last week, they will be fired up to make amends for that defeat.