Barba returns to St Helens squad for trip to Hull FC

Ben Barba in action for Saints during the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter final win over Hull FC
Ben Barba in action for Saints during the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter final win over Hull FC
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Saints will go into Friday night’s Betfred Super League showdown against Hull at the KCOM Stadium with a powerful-looking 19-man squad which includes Ben Barba, Tommy Makinson and Ryan Morgan who all missed last week’s 36-6 victory over Widnes Vikings at the Totally Wicked Stadium

The table-toppers will be seeking their 12th successive league and cup victory of the campaign but will not find it easy against the Airlie Birds who have lost only once in front of their own fans this year - 14-10 to Wigan Warriors.

Head coach Justin Holbrook said: “It’s all about maintaining our current performances.

“We are constantly making small changes in the way we play with the ball and that is key in keeping the opposition guessing.”

He added: “It’s a long season and too hard a sport not to maintain that. You cannot afford to get comfortable and we will make sure we are fresh at the end of the year.

“At the same time, we also need to ensure we are ready every single week.

“Hull are a good team and we will need to be fully prepared and ready for a tough encounter.”

Holbrook will select his 17 from: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 20. Matty Lees, 23. Ben Barba.

Lee Radford will choose his Hull FC side from: 2. Bureta Faraimo, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 6. Albert Kelly, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 11. Dean Hadley, 12. Mark Minichiello, 14.Jake Connor, 15. Chris Green, 16. Jordan Abdul, 17. Danny Washbrook, 23. Mickey Paea, 24. Jack Logan, 25. Jansin Turgut, 26. Jordan Lane, 27. Jack Downs, 28. Jack Downs, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo, 30. Cameron Scott.

The game kicks off at 7.45pm and the referee will be Liam Moore.