Holbrook’s welcome selection headache

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The mental scars left by an agonising season defining defeat sometimes take a little longer to heal than expected.

But by now it is hoped that Saints will have fully erased the bitter memories of their golden point heart-breaking setback against Castleford Tigers in last year’s play-off semi-final when the two teams meet again in a blockbusting opening fixture of the 2018 Betfred Super League campaign at the Total Wicked Stadium tonight.

Significantly, head coach Justin Holbrook’s initial 19-man squad includes no fewer than 17 who featured in September’s showdown - displaying his unshakable faith and confident in his current crop of players

Two, however, will be left kicking their heels in frustration on the sidelines and such is the competition for places who that will be is any one’s guess even at this late stage.

Holbrook admitted: “I’ve had to make some tough decisions this week.

“This is the hardest part of being a coach when you have no alternative other than to leave out some good players, especially in round one.

“It’s a good headache,though, as it’s important to have good depth in your squad.”