Saints’ 100 per cent start to the Betfred Super League season is under threat from three of the club’s former players and a star of the World Cup.
Jordan Turner, Lee Gaskell and Paul Clough, who clocked up more than 300 appearances between them wearing the famous Red Vee jersey, are included in the Huddersfield Giants’ 19-man squad ahead of Friday night’s Battle of the Roses at the John Smith’s Stadium , kick-off 7.45pm.
It’s something not lost on new skipper James Roby, who said: “They will all have a point to prove and while it will be nice to renew old acquaintances, we will be sworn enemies for 80 minutes on the field.”
The Giants will also welcome back England winger Jermaine McGillvary who will be making his first appearance of the season following a scintillating performance in the World Cup when his seven-try haul was the third highest in the competition and, as usual, the talented but often unpredictable Danny Brough will be pulling the strings at half back.
A powerful-looking set of forward will only add to Saints’ problems on a ground where their record since 2011 is nothing to shout home about and they will need
to be at their collective best to pick up maximum points and hold on to pole position in the table.
Roby said: “It’s so far so good for us but we have to keep our current form going and show the kind of consistency we lacked last year. Both facets of the game were evidence in the wins over Castleford Tigers and Catalans Dragons.
“In the first match, we clicked from an attacking point of view while at Catalans we had to go set for set. It was a case of who would crack first and luckily we got a crucial try before half time.”
He continued: “It will be tough game at Huddersfield but it always is over there. In Brough, the Giants have a player who can be off-the-cuff at times. He is a fantastic kicker of the ball, a great organiser and is tough for a smaller player.
“It’s not just him, though. They also have some big lads who like to bump, off-load and spin out of the tackle. We will really have to work hard defensively and keep our line up together.”
Meanwhile, Sky Sports have confirmed their television schedule for the Easter weekend. Five games will be broadcast live starting with Wakefield Trinity v Castleford Tigers on Thursday, March 29 (ko 7.45pm) at The Mobile Rocket Stadium.
On Good Friday, Hull Kingston Rovers take on Hull FC in the first Super League Hull derby in over 18 months at the KCOM Craven Park (ko 12.50pm) before St Helens lock horns with Wigan Warriors at the Totally Wicked Stadium (ko 3.15pm).
St Helens are in front of the Sky Sports cameras again on Easter Monday as they travel to Widnes Vikings (ko 3.05pm) and Catalans Dragons take on Huddersfield Giants in the fifth live game on Sky Sports.
Sky have also selected to show Salford Red Devils v Warrington Wolves on Saturday, April 7 (3.15pm), which is followed by Catalans Dragons v Wigan Warriors (5.15pm).
Elsewhere, winger Tommy Makinson is just three tries short of a century in 169 appearances for St Helens since 2011 and so, too, is James Roby from his 401 games since 2004.
Alex Walmsley also needs just one appearance to reach 150 after making his debut in a 22-22 draw against Hull FC on February 15, 2013.