St Helens have looked unstoppable so far this season, winning all five of their Super League games to date, but have suffered an injury setback ahead of this weekend’s trip to bottom club Toulouse Olympique, writes Ben Olawumi.
Forwards Alex Walmsley and Sione Mata’utia – who miss the next two games through suspension anyway – have been side-lined through hamstring-related injuries.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Saints boss Kristian Woolf revealed the extent of the two absentees, but remained confident in heading over the English Channel with a strong squad.
“We think Alex will only be two weeks but we’re not quite sure with Sione,” he said.
“We think between four to six weeks. They have been two of our best forwards over the opening rounds and it’s obviously a blow.
“There is a lot of footy to be played and we are going to be fine, we’re able to cope without those guys.
“I am confident in whatever squad we send out there will be strong. We have a really good depth and some guys who are champing at the bit and wanting an opportunity are deserving of one.
“We are going to put a good strong side out, and I am very confident in what we will put together.”
The Red V will also miss fellow forward Joe Batchelor, while Jack Welsby could be out of action having picked up a knock in last week’s 28-2 victory at home to Warrington Wolves.
Elsewhere, Wigan Warriors must bounce back from their 28-0 defeat at Catalans Dragons last time out when they failed to score at the Stade Gilbert Brutus for the second season running.
The Cherry and Whites take on Castleford Tigers at the DW stadium in the first game of this weekend, who themselves have picked up just one win from five, and Warriors boss Matt Peet says he’s looking forward to being back at home.
“Our fans have been fantastic so far this season and we know that if we start well against Castleford, then they’ll be right behind us,” said Peet.
“We always appreciate their support.
“It’s important in sport that you don’t get too high on the wins or too low on the losses. We’re looking forward to Thursday’s game.”
Salford Red Devils are also at home, welcoming Leeds Rhinos in a battle of two out of form teams. The Red Devils had won their first two games of the campaign, but have since lost three on the bounce including last weekend’s defeat at the AJ Bell stadium to Hull Kingston Rovers.
And in front of the TV cameras, Daryl Powell’s Warrington Wolves host Wakefield Trinity at the Halliwell Jones stadium.
A full fixture list for round six of the Super League campaign can be found below:
Thursday: Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers (19:45)
Friday: Catalans Dragons vs Hull Kingston Rovers (19:30), Salford Red Devils vs Leeds (20:00)
Saturday: Warrington Wolves vs Wakefield Trinity (12:30), Toulouse Olympique vs St Helens (17:00)
Sunday: Hull FC vs Huddersfield Giants (15:00)