Yates’ view: Same again for Justin’s men

Saints coach Justin Holbrook
Saints coach Justin Holbrook
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Bill Shankly - legendary manager of Liverpool’s all-conquering team of the mid-1960s and early 1970s - was renowned for his witty off-the-cuff remarks and never more so than at press conferences when announcing his squad each week during the height of their success.

“Same squad as last year,” he often remarked. A slight exaggeration, of course, but Saints’ boss Justin Holbrook wouldn’t be too far off the mark if he repeated it at this moment in time.

No fewer than six St Helens players - Regan Grace, Danny Richardson, Theo Fages, Luke Thompson, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Dominique Peyroux have featured in all 19 Betfred Super League and Ladbrokes Challenge Cup matches this season and a further three - Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival and Zeb Taia - have only missed one fixture.

Jonny Lomax, Jon Wilkin. Ben Barba, Kyle Amor, and Luke Douglas have appeared on the team sheet 17 times and skipper James Roby one less. Others to appear include: Morgan Knowles (15), Ryan Morgan (13), Matty Smith and Adam Swift (seven), Matty Lees (six), injured Alex Walmsley (five). Matty Costello (one).

In a sport as tough and physical as Rugby League these are remarkable statistics but they can change in the blinking of an eye.

Holbrook will no doubt be keeping his fingers crossed that the club steer clear of any major injury worries as they set their sights on the League Leaders Shield, the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup trophy and the Grand Final crown.

Tickets for Saints’ Ladbroke Challenge Cup semi-final at the Macron Stadium - the home of Bolton Wanderers - on Sunday, August 5, are now on general sale.

The game kicks off at 12:30pm and St Helens will be guaranteed a huge following for a fixture on their doorstep.

Supporters can buy category three tickets online, via the club ticket office (01744 455 052).They are priced at £25 for adults, £17.50 for concessions and £12.50 for juniors.

A limited number of category one and two are also available from the same source. Not only are tickets valid for the St Helens tie but the Leeds Rhinos-Warrington Wolves showdown which follows.

Any 2018 members, who didn’t take advantage of the exclusivity period, can still claim their discounted tickets. All tickets are reserved seats and fans will receiving the best available on purchase.