19th September 2020, 12:56 | ChallengeCup
Saturday’s Coral Challenge Cup action gets underway in identical fashion to how last year’s competition finished as Warrington Wolves meet St Helens in a repeat of the 2019 showpiece event.
Last season it was Warrington who came out on top at Wembley Stadium thanks to tries from Joe Philbin and Ben Murdoch-Masila before Daryl Clark’s crucial score in the final ten minutes. The victory secured Wire’s ninth Challenge Cup success and their fourth since 2009.
However, for St Helens, it only furthered a dry patch in the Challenge Cup which has seen the Saints fail to lift the coveted trophy since 2008. Last year’s final was also St Helens’ first appearance in the Challenge Cup Final since their 28-16 victory over Hull FC 12 years ago; which saw the club win the competition for three consecutive seasons between 2006 and 2008.
Kristian Woolfe’s side head into this weekend in fine form having won each of their six fixtures since the resumption of the Super League season. St Helens earned victories over Catalans Dragons, Leeds Rhinos, Castleford Tigers, Hull Kingston Rovers and Huddersfield Giants before beating Rovers once more last weekend thanks to a Golden Point drop-goal courtesy of Theo Fages.
But St Helens aren’t the only side to boast a 100% record since the season’s re-start with Steve Price’s Warrington also winning five from five in recent weeks. The Wolves have enjoyed comfortable victories against Hull KR, Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC in addition to narrowly edging out Huddersfield and Castleford.
Warrington welcome back a number of key players who were made to sit out the previous fortnight due to COVID-19 restrictions. Tom Lineham is the only notable absentee as he begins the first of an eight-game suspension.
St Helens welcome centre Mark Percival back to their matchday squad for the first time since 16th August. Matty Costello drops from the 21-player squad to make way for the returning Percival while Tommy Makinson will serve the fourth of a five-match ban.
Warrington Wolves: Matty Ashton, Blake Austin, Keanan Brand, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Matt Davis, Anthony Gelling, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Toby King, Leilani Latu, Jake Mamo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Ellis Robson, Danny Walker.
St Helens: Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Zeb Taia, Dominique Peyroux, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Kyle Amor, Jack Ashworth, Aaron Smith, James Bentley, Jack Welsby, Josh Simm, Lewis Dodd, James Graham
Watch Warrington Wolves and St Helens fight for a place in the Semi-Finals of the Coral Challenge Cup from 2:30pm on Saturday 19 September on BBC One