St Helens' Matty Lees ruled out of Challenge Cup final
Saints' hooker Aaron Smith to also miss Wembley showpiece after being handed two-match ban
Last Updated: 19/08/19 9:07pm
St Helens prop forward Matty Lees has been ruled out of the Challenge Cup final with a hip injury.
The 21-year-old sustained a hip injury in Saints' 36-20 Super League win at Leeds last Thursday.
Lees has played in all but two of his side's 29 league and cup games this season but will sit out the showpiece against Warrington at Wembley on Saturday.
"He had a knock on his hip but we thought he would be okay," head coach Justin Holbrook said.
"However, he was in a bad way after the game and was taken to hospital and had surgery there. It's not great, he's going to be out for a fair bit.
"It's a huge blow. I'm really disappointed for him. He's a tremendous young player and plays as tough as anyone."
Lees will be Saints' only absentee at Wembley, with Holbrook able to select from a strong squad.
Second rower Zeb Taia will play after missing the semi-final win over Halifax with a shoulder injury while loose forward Morgan Knowles could force his way back in after missing the last three matches with a rib injury.
"We've still got to leave a couple of great players out this week," added Holbrook, who has rotated his team over the last month. "We're in a good place, whoever runs out for us has played really well."
Meanwhile, hooker Aaron Smith has been handed a two-match penalty for making dangerous contact on Leeds full-back Jack Walker during the win against the Rhinos last week.
The ban rules Smith out of the Wembley final, although he was set to make way for the return of skipper James Roby.