Super League: St Helens v Leeds Rhinos


Scotland international Luke Douglas has joined St Helens from NRL side Gold Coast Titans
Betfred Super League
Venue: Totally Wicked Stadium Date: Thursday, 9 February Kick-off: 20:00 GMT Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Luke Douglas, Ryan Morgan, Tommy Lee and Adam Walker could all make their debuts for St Helens in the opening Super League match of 2017, after joining the club during the off season.

Scrum-half Matty Smith is out after breaking his leg in pre-season.

Leeds are without injured forwards Brett Ferres and Brett Delaney, while Keith Galloway remains out with an Achilles injury suffered last season.

New signings Jack Ormondroyd and Matt Parcell are both included in the squad.

Rhinos had to secure their place in Super League through The Qualifiers last season, having won the treble in 2015, while St Helens were knocked out out in the play-off semi-finals.

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham told BBC Radio Merseyside:

“It’s got to that point in the season where you’ve tried what you want to try in your friendlies and we’ve done a fair bit of training – we’re ready to go.

“We’ve been forced into swapping and changing a few things with Matty Smith out but you adapt.

“To a man I’m really happy with recruitment and where they are in their development, they’ll all influence what we do this year.

“You can’t beat a tough game to open Super League and we’ve got to showcase the competition.”

Leeds Rhinos forward Stevie Ward told BBC Radio Leeds:

“We’ve got over 2016 and I think this is a defining year for us.

“There are leaders that need to pop out and people that need to start cracking the whip in the side and creating that culture which Kevin Sinfield did all that time ago.

“Thursday, we’re coming up to that game and there’s not much of a better and bigger game that we could be going into.”

St Helens squad: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Swift, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Greenwood, Wilkin, Douglas, Walker, Thompson, Lee, Peyroux, Knowles, Ashworth, Richardson.

Leeds squad: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Mullally, Ormondroyd, Baldwinson.

Referee: Phil Bentham.

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