St Helens vs Huddersfield Giants: Team news for Friday's Super League game
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 12/06/19 3:26pm
Aaron Smith returns to the St Helens squad in place of the injured James Roby as the Super League leaders aim to get back to winning ways at home to Huddersfield Giants on Friday.
Saints suffered a surprise 23-22 golden-point defeat away to bottom-side London Broncos last Sunday, with head coach Justin Holbrook revealing afterwards skipper Roby was due to undergo surgery on a long-standing groin injury.
The hooker's absence means Smith, who has made seven appearances for St Helens this year and featured for Championship side Leigh Centurions on dual-registration, gets another opportunity.
"Robes has been struggling with it, carrying a niggling injury for a while," Holbrook said.
"He'll get some minor surgery this week, so he'll probably miss four weeks. Aaron Smith is a good player and will be back."
Holbrook has made four other changes to his 19-man squad for the visit of Huddersfield, with Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Alex Walmsley and Zeb Taia all returning after being rested for the loss against the Broncos.
Saints' leading try-scorer Regan Grace, Danny Richardson, Matty Lees and Jack Welsby are the players who miss out this time around.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield are without their top try-scorer as well after Jermaine McGillvary picked up an injury which will sideline him for the trip to St Helens.
The Giants are seeking to rebound from a golden-point extra-time defeat as well, having been edged out 23-22 by Castleford Tigers last Friday, and head coach Simon Woolford is determined to ensure that does not happen again.
"We've lost three games this year by a point and each time we've self-destructed," Woolford said. "Each time we were in winning positions and blew every one.
"There was lots of good stuff out there. We started off slow but worked our way into the game and scored some nice tries.
"But the way we self-destructed is just not good enough and it's not going to be accepted."
St Helens 19-man squad: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, Luke Thompson Zeb Taia, Joseph Paulo, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Morgan Knowles, Kyle Amor, Dom Peyroux, Adam Swift, Jack Ashworth, Aaron Smith, James Bentley, Lachlan Coote, Matty Costello
Huddersfield Giants 19-man squad: Darnell McIntosh, Jordan Turner, Lee Gaskell, Matt Frawley, Paul Clough, Kruise Leeming, Suaia Matagi, Aaron Murphy, Alex Mellor, Michael Lawrence, Adam O'Brien, Ukuma Ta'ai, Matty English, Jake Wardle, Oliver Russell, Sam Hewitt, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Innes Senior, Joe Wardle