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World Cup boys back for Saints

Jonny Lomax
Jonny Lomax
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Jonny Lomax, Alex Walmsley and James Roby will be involved in their first competitive match since the World Cup Final when Saints entertain neighbours Leigh Centurions on Friday (kick-off 8pm).

Head coach Justin Holbrook confirmed at the beginning of the week that the international trio, who featured in their country’s 6-0 defeat to Australia in the December final Down Under, will be part of his squad for the fixture against the Championship outfit.

Aussie full back Ben Barba, embarking on his first full season at the club, will also be pencilled-in from the start in a Saints’ side which is expected to be at near or full strength.

Leigh narrowly lost to Wigan 22-14 on Sunday and with plenty of former Saints in the side – and coaching staff – will want to put in a strong performance before they face Toronto in their first game.

The have recruited wisely and are already being tipped as one of the best hopes of returning to Super League at the end of the forthcoming campaign and are expected to give St Helens the kind of test needed ahead of the mouth-watering opening Super League clash against Castleford Tigers at the Totally Wicked Stadium a week on Friday (kick-off 7.45pm).

Prop Alex Walmsley,who has been linked with a move to the NRL at the end of the 2018 campaign, said: “It will be a tough opener against arguably the best and most consistent team in Super League last year but there is no better way to start a new season than facing a quality team like Cas at home.

“It will give us a clear guide as to where we are as a club and where we’re going to be this season.”