19th May 2017 by TSZ
Hull FC vs St Helens Preview
- Hull head into this game looking for their sixth win on a trot in all competitions as they look to place pressure on Castleford at the top of the Super League table.
- If they are to win, the black and whites will once again have to do it without talismanic captain Gareth Ellis who misses out alongside the in-form pairing of Mahe Fonua and Jake Connor.
- In some good news for head coach Lee Radford, he is able to recall Sika Manu who has completed a two-match ban as well as Carlos Tuimavave and Fetuli Talanoa, although the latter will have to prove his fitness in order to take the field after a long spell out.
Head Coach: Lee Radford
Squad: Jamie Shaul, Carlos Tuimavave, Josh Griffin, Fetuli Talanoa, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Liam Watts, Mark Minichiello, Chris Green, Jordan Thompson, Danny Washbrook, Steve Michaels, Sika Manu, Josh Bowden, Jansin Turgut, Jack Downs, Brad Fash
Unavailable: Gareth Ellis (Sternum), Dean Hadley (Jaw), Mahe Fonua (Injury), Jake Connor (Injury)
- Interim coaches Sean Long and Jamahl Lolesi will again be in charge for St. Helens, although new head coach Justin Holbrook is expected to be in the ground to watch his new team in action for the first time before taking control next week.
- They will need a big improvement following their last showing when they were completely dominated by Castleford in the Challenge Cup, with Jon Wilkin stating that it was the lowest he'd felt during his time at the club.
- Saints are almost at full-strength with just Jonny Lomax remaining on the sidelines as they look to bounce back from last weekend's disappointing showing, but must do so against a team who they've struggled with in recent times, losing seven of the last nine encounters when facing Hull.
Head Coach: Justin Holbrook
Squad: Tommy Makinson, Ryan Morgan, Mark Percival, Adam Swift, Theo Fages, Matty Smith, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Luke Douglas, Luke Thompson, Tommy Lee, Dominique Peyroux, Greg Richards, Morgan Knowles, Regan Grace, Zeb Taia
Unavailable: Jonny Lomax (Injury)
Analysis - what to expect
The two sides couldn't head into this game on the back of more contrasting games. Hull nilled Catalans 62-0 in their previous match whilst St. Helens were thumped 53-10 by Castleford. Saints are stuck in a rut at the moment and will be hoping that with their new coach there to observe his first game, they will be able to lift their performance. Hull will be keen to continue their good run though and will be confident of seeing off a side lacking in confidence.