Saints fans will have their first chance to see the club’s five new signings in action when they entertain neighbours Widnes Vikings in Sunday’s annual Karalius Cup clash.
Head coach Keiron Cunningham plans to use nearly 30 players, including Aussie centre Ryan Morgan, Scotland’s 2016 player of the year Adam Walker, international team-mate Luke Douglas, former Salford skipper Tommy Lee and the returning Matty Smith.
One familiar face, however, will be missing. Louie McCarthy Scarsbrook underwent back surgery at the end of the 2016 season and misses the first hit out of the year.
At the same time, Saints are expected to start the match will a strong-looking side but will gradually introduce one or two up and coming youngsters and give them an early opportunity to claim a first team shirt.
“The kids deserve their chance,” said Cunningham.
“They have trained hard during pre-season and the staff couldn’t have asked any more from them.”
He added:”Things have gone well with the squad and the game will give us a good idea as to who is good in which spots and who starts in the front row.
“It will also be Widnes’s third pre-season game so they are further ahead than us in that respect. We’re looking for a good showing, if we are heading in the right direction, and if the boys have progressed from last year.
“We’re also looking forward to the hit out as what promises to be an exciting season is just around the corner.”