20th June 2019, 11:09 | StHelens

They love playing against us - St Helens boss Holbrook

They love playing against us - St Helens boss Holbrook

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook knows from experience not to underestimate the challenge of struggling Leeds Rhinos on Friday night.

The Rhinos, currently joint bottom of Super League, finished outside the top eight in 2018 but still managed to win at the Totally Wicked Stadium and only five points separated the teams when they met there in February.

"They love playing against us,'' Holbrook said. "Every one of the games has been close. That is all I have known them as since I have been here.

"Obviously they're not happy with where they sit in the table but they have got so many dangerous players in their side so we know we have to play well.''

After rotating his squad over the last fortnight, Holbrook intends to wheel out all his big guns on Friday with the exception of hooker James Roby, who is recovering from groin surgery.

"It was opportunity to freshen the boys up knowing that we haven't got the luxury of that international round we had last year,'' he said.


Elsewhere, Wigan Warriors will be out for revenge when they take on Huddersfield Giants at the John Smith's Stadium.

The Giants got off the mark with a 14-6 win at the DW Stadium in March and will be hoping to arrest another losing run at the expense of the reigning champions on Friday night.

"They are coming off the back of two losses but they are a good team,'' said Wigan coach Adrian Lam.

"They play for each other and will hang on in there. If you're not up to your game, they will certainly upset your rhythm.

"We have a lot of respect for them because they are a big side with some senior players in there that carry the ball really strong. We know we are going to have our hands full.''

The Warriors have started to climb the table and a third successive win would boost their hopes of a top-five finish.

"We are pretty happy to be moving in the right direction and playing more consistently,'' Lam said.

"I've challenged the players this week to be even better.

"There is a good vibe here in the group. There is belief coming into the squad and plenty of confidence.''

Scotland forward Dale Ferguson is set to make his first appearance of the season for Huddersfield after recovering from injury and gaining match fitness while on loan to Featherstone Rovers.

In Friday's other fixtures, Wakefield Trinity will seek to halt a four-match losing run when they visit second-placed Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils have a chance to leapfrog Castleford Tigers into the top five when they meet at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Trinity coach Chris Chester could give debuts to Titus Gwaze and Connor Bailey after losing Danny Kirmond and Tyler Randell to injury.