Holbrook’s welcome selection headache

St Helens Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook (centre) celebrates after scoring a try during day one of the Betfred Super League Magic Weekend at St James' Park, Newcastle
St Helens Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook (centre) celebrates after scoring a try during day one of the Betfred Super League Magic Weekend at St James' Park, Newcastle

Justin Holbrook faces a king-sized selection headache ahead of Friday’s Betfred Super League home match against Widnes Vikings - and he couldn’t be happier!

The Saints’ head coach welcomes back stand-off Theo Fages, who missed the match at Castleford due to concussion, to his 19-man squad and the versatile Jonny Lomax will also be biting the bit to play his second successive game after a prolonged spell out injured.

It’s now a question which two members of his squad will be left kicking their heels in frustration on the touch line as Saints set their sights on avenging the surprise 16-14 defeat they suffered at the hands of their neighbours in April.

“We have some tough and big decisions to make before Friday’s match, ‘’ admitted the Australian.’’

He added: ‘’Two players will have to miss out but this can only be good for competition as the boys battle for places in the squad.’’

The Chemics have won their last two games, giving a much needed boost in confidence as they fight to escape from the lower reaches of the table.

But Holbrook insisted that his only focus is ensuring the players under his wings improve on a weekly basis.

“For us it is about getting our own game right,” he said.

“We have had a good look at that and where we can improve but we haven’t got time on our side. We have to improve straightaway and also string together a few wins in order to climb the table’’ and we have to do that on Friday.

Justin Holbrook will choose his 17 from:

1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 28. Regan Grace, 36. Zeb Taia.

Denis Betts will choose his 17 from:

2. Corey Thompson, 4. Charly Runciman, 8. Eamon O’Carroll, 10. Jack Buchanan, 11. Chris Houston, 12. Matt Whitley, 13. Hep Cahill, 15. Gil Dudson, 17. Stefan Marsh, 20. Manase Manuokafoa, 21. Jack Johnson, 23. James Chapelhow, 25. Tom Olbison, 28. Ryan Ince, 31. Jordan Johnstone, 32. Danny Craven, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 39. Sam Wilde, 40. Rangi Chase.

The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee is Scott Mikalauskas.

Tickets for the clash remain on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052.