St Helens vs Wigan Warriors Super League Round 1 Preview

Super League returns Thursday night with the defending champions travelling to the home of the most consistent side in 2018, however, Saints prize asset now on the other side of the world and Wigan with a new curator of the 1 jersey, the fullback of both the home and away side will be intensely scrutinised by the onlookers and new signings will enter the Super League pantheon for the first time, into a baptism of fire in one of the competitions most challenging opening round fixtures.

Last season saw Saints claim their first good friday win over the Warriors and Justin Holbrook's men emerging victorious in the 2 regular season games, winning 21-18 and 14-6, Wigan winning their Super 8s clash in late August 30-10, this gives Wigan 2 wins from their last 5 meetings with St Helens.

St Helens name a strong initial 19 man squad, ready to offer debuts to Joseph Paulo, Kevin Naiqama and Lachlan Coote as well as welcoming back England international, Alex Walmsley, from the neck injury that sidelined him for most of 2018. Wigan name redemption seeking fullback, Zak Hardaker, for his first Super League appearance since the 2017 Play Off Semi-final with the Castleford Tigers.

St Helens: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Theo Fages, Danny Richardson, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Joseph Paulo, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Kyle Amor, Dom Peyroux, Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth, Lachlan Coote.

Wigan Warriors: Joe Bullock, Tony Clubb, Tom Davies, Morgan EscarĂ©, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Gabe Hamlin, Zak Hardaker, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Romain Navarrete, Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Taulima Tautai, George Williams.

In typical fashion this game will be too close to call conclusively, it's rare for this match up to be decided by any more than 10 points, especially in early meetings. Saints have recruited well but Wigan have the experience of playing together for quite some time and with only 1 change to a key area on the field I feel that could be a decisive factor in the outcome of this game, I'm backing Wigan by a 7-12 point margin.


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