St Helens vs Salford preview: Saints coach Justin Holbrook wary of 'dangerous' Red Devils
St Helens vs Salford is live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm on Friday
By Sky Sports Rugby League
Last Updated: 17/05/19 6:49pm
Salford seek to bridge a 39-year gap when they take on Betfred Super League leaders St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday.
The Red Devils have won five times away from home so far this season, most notably at second-placed Warrington, but they have lost 34 successive fixtures on the road against Saints since gaining an 18-17 victory at Knowsley Road in January 1980.
St Helens also triumphed 26-4 at the AJ Bell Stadium in February, but coach Justin Holbrook is wary of the threat posed by Ian Watson's men.
"We know what they are capable of," Holbrook said. "They had a great, dominant win over Warrington a couple of weeks back and went over to Catalans and thumped them over there, which nobody has been able to do.
"So they are a real dangerous attacking team. They execute their plays really well. Every team run plays, but there is a difference between running plays and executing it well and Salford do run their plays really well.
"Jackson Hastings and Robert Lui in the halves are the dominant playmakers in their side and do a really good job for them."
Saints are without skipper James Roby, who rests a minor injury, while Salford will give a debut to giant forward Pauli Pauli, who has joined them on a month's loan from Wakefield.
Pauli was a tryscorer in Trinity's 33-22 win over Salford at the Mobile Rocket Stadium in March but is now hoping to make an impact for his new club.
"It's always exciting to get on the field with a new bunch of blokes and see how they play," he said.
"St Helens are a top team, so hopefully we can prove this week that we can do something.
"I just want to turn up for the boys and play. That's why I enjoy playing and that's what I'm here for."
Wales international Morgan Knowles will make his 100th appearance for Saints.
St Helens will be without skipper Roby, so Aaron Smith gets another start at hooker, while second rower James Bentley and utility back Jack Welsby are added to coach Justin Holbrook's 19-man squad.
🗞 SAINTS NAME 19 MAN SQUAD ⚪️🔴@jamesbentley34 and @jackwelsby_ come in to Justin Holbrook's 19 man squad ahead of the @SuperLeague Round 15 clash with @SalfordDevils on Friday.— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) May 15, 2019
👀 Read who they replace in the link below ⬇️https://t.co/zDHWSZfKx2#saintsandproud pic.twitter.com/iQL2rnEhSn
Forward Pauli is set to make his debut for Salford following his arrival on loan from Wakefield and coach Ian Watson also adds Josh Jones, Logan Tomkins and Ben Nakubuwai to his squad following the cup defeat by Hull KR.
St Helens 19-man squad: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Regan Grace, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, Zeb Taia, Joseph Paulo, Morgan Knowles, Kyle Amor, Dom Peyroux, Adam Swift, Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth, Aaron Smith, James Bentley, Lachlan Coote, Matty Costello, Jack Welsby.
👀 Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad ahead of Friday's visit to @twstadium where we face @saints1890!— Salford Red Devils (@SalfordDevils) May 15, 2019
🤔 Pauli Pauli makes his first appearance in Salford's 19-man squad following a loan swap with @wtrinityrl. Thoughts?
💪 #TogetherStronger pic.twitter.com/4WOyHER0vU
Salford 19-man squad: Niall Evalds, Kris Welham, Rob Lui, Lee Mossop, Gil Dudson, Josh Jones, George Griffin, Joey Lussick, Adam Walker, Greg Burke, Tyrone McCarthy, Ben Nakubuwai, Logan Tomkins, Dan Murray, Derrell Olpherts, Ken Sio, Krisnan Inu, Pauli Pauli, Jackson Hastings.