SAINTS boss Justin Holbrook has no qualms about making Danny Richardson his lead half in the absence on injured Matty Smith.

The young Widnesian, who has a short run of games at the start of the year when Smith broke his leg, fell back out of the team when then coach Keiron Cunningham opted for a steady approach with Jon Wilkin.

Richardson has been featuring in the reserves and impressed on dual reg with Sheffield Eagles last week.

He also had a short 10-minute spell off the bench in the first team last month when Tommy Lee pulled out with sickness.

Holbrook feels Richardson is ready to steer the ship.

He said: “Danny has played well in his outings in the reserves and with Sheffield on dual registration.

“He is a good young kid with all the things you want in a half back.

“He is a good organiser, has a fine kicking game which is very important and he is also fast.

“The responsibility will be on Danny.

“He is a natural half back and is most comfortable in that and has been playing it a long time so there is no reason to take the responsibility off him.”

He praised the system that allows Richardson and other youngsters to get action in the absence of regular reserve matches.

“The dual reg system was great to give him some games because the reserves don’t get to play every week.

“It is good for young guys coming through to play at that level.”

Saints: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 24. Danny Richardson, 28. Regan Grace, 32. Matty Lees, 36. Zeb Taia.

Hull FC: 1. Jamie Shaul, 2. Mahe Fonua, 3. Carlos Tuimavave, 4. Josh Griffin, 5. Fetuli Talanoa, 6. Albert Kelly, 7. Marc Sneyd, 8. Scott Taylor, 9. Danny Houghton, 10. Liam Watts, 12. Mark Minichiello, 14. Jake Connor, 16. Jordan Thompson, 17. Danny Washbrook, 21. Sika Manu, 22. Josh Bowden, 25. Jansin Turgut, 28. Brad Fash, 29. Masimbaashe Matongo.