Team news and perspectives ahead of Friday Super League games because relegation battles climax and the play-off.
Richard Agar believes Leeds Rhinos have improvements to make after sealing their place.
Sunday’s 36-10 win away to London Broncos signifies the Rhinos are just four points clear on the side using 2 matches of the regular season staying and having a far superior points difference to the sides near the foot of the table.
Interim head coach Agar is in no doubt his side can create a better display if Salford Red Devils see with Headingley on Friday day, but is pleased they have got themselves into a position.
“Performance-wise there’s a great deal to improve , but dedication and defensive attempt I thought was fantastic,” Agar said.
“We always said pulling together it was not likely to become an overnight fix, two or three chances missed and everyone else has won games to help keep it a battle.
“I know mathematically we are not secure but it’s a fair old swing with just two games as well as two other teams battling each other.”
Agar has named an squad to the match with Salford, that are on a run of six consecutive wins in Super League.
Red Devils head coach Ian Watson brings straight George Griffin and Josh Wood is recalled to the 19.
Salford have now been given a further boost with the information mid-season recruit Josh Johnson has agreed a contract.
“Josh has added a bit of grit to our bunch and bought to the work ethic of the group,” Watson explained.
“We had to move quickly to secure his services for next season, after his vibrant performances captured the eyes of other Super League clubs.
“He’s pleased to be remaining with us and I am certain he will continue to improve and become a precious registering”
Leeds Rhinos 19-man squad: Jack Walker, Konrad Hurrell, Ash Handley, Richie Myler, Adam Cuthbertson, Trent Merrin, Brad Dwyer, Liam Sutcliffe, Brett Ferres, Mikolaj Oledzki, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Cameron Smith, Luke Briscoe, James Donaldson, Harry Newman, Ava Seumanufagai, Shaun Lunt, Robert Lui, Rhyse Martin
Salford Red Devils 19-man group: Niall Evalds, Kris Welham, Jake Bibby, Lee Mossop, Josh Wood, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, George Griffin, Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick, Adam Walker, Greg Burke, Tyrone McCarthy, Logan Tomkins, Ken Sio, Krisnan Inu, Tui Lolohea, Jackson Hastings, Josh Johnson
Finishing an unbeaten season in their home patch is the purpose of St Helens on Friday night when they welcome Huddersfield Giants to Totally Wicked Stadium.
The League Leaders’ Shield winners’ three beats throughout the Super League regular season all have come to the road, using their home ground proving something of a fortress.
Saints have not finished an abysmal stretch at home since 2002, when they moved on to win Grand Final, and head coach Justin Holbrook knows his side should be on their guard against a Giants side who eased their relegation fears with a 22-12 win away to Hull FC last week.
“We’ve been terrific there every week this year and we want to keep that,” Holbrook said. “We have got to play well to beat Huddersfield on Friday.
“It was a great win for them a week. They are not in a terrific spot in the desk, but they’ve shown to go and win at Hull they’ve got a side”
After missing last Friday’s 4-0 win at home to Castleford Tigers dominique Peyroux and Good Britain call-up Lachlan Coote both reunite to Holbrook squad to the Huddersfield match.
Giants head coach Simon Woolford is because of injury, so Tom Holmes comes back in their squad at his place. Aaron Murphy is replaced by adam Walne as well.
But the win over Hull put them in a place, huddersfield are still not protected from the threat of relegation.
“It is dependent on additional games and other benefits, but it has definitely helped our cause,” Woolford said. “It has been a tough year for quite a few reasons and those few wins are few and far between.
“We won’t be shutting up shop today, there’s still a huge job to do and we want to make sure we finish the seasons quite well.”
St Helens 19-man squad: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Theo Fages, Danny Richardson, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Kyle Amor, Dominique Peyroux, Jack Ashworth, James Bentley, Lachlan Coote, Matty Costello
Huddersfield Giants 19-man group: Darnell McIntosh, Jermaine McGillvary, Lee Gaskell, Paul Clough, Kruise Leeming, Suaia Matagi, Alex Mellor, Michael Lawrence, Adam O’Brien, Ukuma Ta’ai, Jake Wardle, Tom Holmes, Adam Walne, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Sam Hewitt, Louis Senior, Jon Luke Kirby, Oliver Wilson, Chester Butler
Blake Austin is defined to create Warrington Wolves a return since they aim to end their six-game losing streak in Super League in your home to Wakefield Trinity on Friday.
Austin has been ruled out for about a month with a knee ligament injury suffered in the defeat off to Catalans Dragons and missed the Wolves’ Challenge Cup final triumph.
However he is one of five players earning a return on Steve Price’s 19-man squad who were not involved in last Thursday’s defeat away to fellow contenders Salford.
Wakefield head to the match in the Halliwell Jones Stadium both having dropped both of their games against Warrington far this season and on the back of a defeat to Wigan Warriors Sunday.
Trinity head coach Chris Chester has injury concerns to compete as well, with a trio of players all missing because of injuries suffered in the loss.
Chris Annakin, Bill Tupou and James Batchelor all ruled out, with George King, Jordy Crowther and Titus Gwaze returning into the 19-man squad in their locations, and Chester will be worried the three might miss Wakefield’s remaining games both.
“It looks like it,” Chester said. “We’ve got some cover there in Joe Arundel and George King and Jordy Crowther, therefore we’ve pretty much got that covered.”
Warrington Wolves 19-man team: Sitaleki Akauola, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Jake Mamo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Smith, Lama Tasi
Wakefield Trinity 19-man squad: Joe Arundell, Danny Brough, Jordy Crowther, Anthony England, Morgan Escare, Chris Green, Titus Gwaze, Ryan Hampshire, Ben Jones-Bishop, Lee Kershaw, George King, Danny Kirmond, Craig Kopczak, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Tyler Randell, Adam Tangata, Kelepi Tanginoa, Kyle Wood
Adrian Lam knows there is still plenty of work for Wigan Warriors to perform as they plan to seal second place.
Last Sunday’s victory away to Wakefield saw the champions move before a win in the home to Catalans Dragons on Friday along with Warrington at the table would watch them take a step nearer towards procuring that place.
However, Lam, who has attracted Harry Smith in to Amir Bourouh in the only change to his 19-man squad,” cautioned his players they can’t afford to believe the job is currently done.
“We have got a pretty tough two games coming up in Catalans and Castleford at home, therefore a lot of work to do, but I am really pleased for the team so far,” Lam said.
“We’ve used particular words in particular times of the year, and optimism and belief are the ones we’re pushing aggressively in the moment.
“As a group, if we get down to a tight game, they feel in each other and if things get tight at the match during the next couple of weeks, I have complete confidence we can get the result we deserve.”
Wigan defeat Catalans 42-0 on the side’s last visit however the Dragons ensured a unforgettable win in the game at Barcelona’s Nou Camp in May.
The guys of steve McNamara visit Wigan with their hopes in tatters following last Saturday defeat at home to Hull Kingston Rovers – .
The outfit do have Sam Tomkins available to confront Alrix da Costa returns and also his former team to the 19. Not included are Ben Garcia, Jodie Broughton, David Mead, Tony Gigot, Fouad Yaha, Sam Moa and Remi Casty.
Wigan Warriors 19-man squad: Joe Burgess, Liam Byrne, Tony Clubb, Liam Farrell, Bevan French, Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Chris Hankinson, Zak Hardaker, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Romain Navarrete, Oliver Partington, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Harry Smith, Morgan Smithies, George Williams
Catalans Dragons 19-man group: Brayden Wiliame, Lewis Tierney, Samisoni Langi, Michael McIlorum, Kenny Edwards, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Mickael Simon, Benjamin Julien, Matt Whitley, Alrix da Costa, Mickael Goudemand, Lambert Belmas, Lucas Albert, Antoni Maria, Jason Baitieri, Arthur Romano, Sam Kasiano, Sam Tomkins
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