LANGTREE Park’s standing in the game as a venue for the big occasions receives another nod this weekend.

Saints’ home, which hosted the World Cup qualifier between eventual champions Australia and Fiji last November and previously an England versus Exiles international, stages its first Challenge Cup semi final on Saturday.

The battle between Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves, a repeat of the 2010 and 2012 deciders, will be the competition’s first semi final to be staged in the town for 49 years.

Wigan’s 25-19 defeat of Swinton in front of 29,658 supporters in 1965 is the only previous Challenge Cup last-four tie hosted in St Helens since the finals were first staged at Wembley in 1929.

Leeds come to town bidding for their first win in the prestigious knockout since 1999, having knocked out Saints 32-12 in the fifth round at Headingley on April 26.

Micky Higham offers some ex-Saints interest in the tie, the Warrington hooker having worn the red vee between 2001 and 2005.

St Helens connections are greater in the sold-out second semi final between Widnes Vikings and Castleford Tigers at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.

Vikings half back Kevin Brown and winger Paddy Flynn were both born in the town, while their teammate Chris Dean started his career with Saints.