Saints head out to warm weather training base in Tenerife

James Roby is set to miss the start of the season
James Roby is set to miss the start of the season

Saints are leaving no stone unturned as they step up preparations for the defence of their Betfred Super League title.

Head coach Kristian Woolf and his squad headed to Tenerife yesterday (Monday) for a few days warm weather training where the temperature is currently in the 20s and expected to last for the rest of the week.

It will give the Australian coach, who has only been in the UK since just before Christmas, a chance to get to know his players better, both on the training pitch and socially.

Woolf said that the trip presented an ideal opportunity to increase work levels, as well as building further squad morale in an ideal environment ahead of a solitary pre-season friendly - Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook's testimonial match against London Broncos at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday, January 19.

''It is our only fixture before the start of the new season and I can assure fans I will be fielding a strong-looking side,'' said the coach.

Leading try scorer Tommy Makinson and Welsh international Morgan Knowles, who underwent shoulder surgery after October's Grand Final victory over Salford City Reds, are approaching match fitness and Matty Lees continues his recovery from a perforated bowel.

However, skipper James Roby, who is about to embark on his 17th season as a first team player, is expected to be sidelined early on due to extra work needed following groin surgery.

At the same time, it is likely to give the up-and-coming Aaron Smith the chance to stake his long-term bid to be be the club's no.1 hooker.

Smith, 23, has made 17 first team appearances to date, often stepping into 34-year-old Roby's shoes

TICKET sale for Saints' World Club Challenge showdown with NRL champions Sydney Roosters at the Totally Wicked Stadium next month are selling well and there are a number of areas which now have limited availability, including single seats.

Further information is available on line, or by calling at the club.