St Helens forward Louie prepares for London reunion

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook

No one will be looking forward to Friday's home game against London Broncos more than Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook - one of a few players with close links to the capital city who have reached the pinnacle of Super League since 1996.

The 33-year-old fun-loving chirpy Cockney joined St Helens in 2011 from Harlequins (now under the Broncos banner) and will come face-to-face with his home city club for the first time since the 2014 campaign if, as expected, he is part of coach Justin Holbrook's final 17-man squad.

That year London were relegated to the Championship but have now returned to the big-time following their win in the Million Pound Game against Toronto Wolfpack last October and on Sunday had a shock 18-16 home win over reigning champions Wigan Warriors.

Regarded as the joker in the pack and one of the most popular players ever to don a Saints' shirt, McCarthy-Scarsbrook will be hoping to have the final say on the night against a club close to his heart and one responsible for launching his career.

The second row forward, who recently signed a new deal, which will ensure he stays at the Totally Wicked Stadium until the end of the 2020 season, said: "To spend 10 years at this club will be something special.

"It is a privilege to have been here for so long and an honour considering I am not from the area.

"I am really looking forward to hopefully celebrating a testimonial here and more importantly, winning silverware."

McCarthy-Scarsbrook - a Grand Final winner against Wigan Warriors in 2014 - made his debut for Saints against the Cherry and Whites in the 2011 Millennium Magic Weekend in Cardiff and quickly established himself as a crowd favourite.

He has made 251 appearances for the club, scoring 50 tries and appeared internationally for Ireland in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

"Louie was outstanding for us in 2018," said Saints' head coach Justin Holbrook.

''He is a really important and versatile member of the squad who is well liked by his team-mates and the coaching staff.

''Louie also sets a great example to the younger players with his work rate and passion."