Saints told to play with pride

Stand-in head coach Jamahl Lolesi
Stand-in head coach Jamahl Lolesi

Wear your shirt with pride - that’s the rallying call from Saints’ assistant coach Jamahl Lolesi as he helps prepare his players for the daunting Good Friday trip to defending champions Wigan Warriors and an equally difficult home fixture against table-toppers Castleford Tigers at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Easter Monday.

Lolesi said: “We couldn’t have hand-picked two tougher games but it will be a good chance for the coaching team to get as good look at players who want to stand up and fight for the badge they wear.

“If I was playing, I would rather have a couple of tough games over Easter than easy ones. I think it comes at the best time for us but I’m sure it will be a stern test for our squad.’’

He added: “I have been here four or five years and I don’t think I have seen a St Helens side which didn’t turn up for a derby match. They have always been good tussles with Wigan also playing their part.

“I know our players will be up for the game and don’t think they will need any motivation.”

The stand-in joint boss - a role he shares with ex-player Sean Long and Derek Traynor, admitted they would only be making minor tweaks to previous game plans but insisted nothing much can change in a week following former coach Keiron Cunningham’s dismissal.

Lolesi said: “We can change a little bit but it is not going to be a quick fix and needs introduced over a longer period of time.

“However, I will ensure there is no confusion among the players what their jobs will be and I’ll give them a nice game plan and tell them to execute it the best they can.

“We haven’t altered a great deal but just a few things to help the boys get a bit more momentum out of the back of the field and drive us to the other end and score some points.”