DROPPING Zeb Taia to the bench and starting Morgan Knowles in the second row is part of Saints coach Kristian Woolf’s strategy to get more out of both players in the short and long term.

Veteran second row Taia, who departs at the end of this campaign, has made his impact from the interchanges in recent weeks - something that the coach feels will benefit him in the hectic business end.

And in doing so, Knowles has started in his place on that edge before switching back to the middle in an attempt to build his game time.

Both players, stressed the coach, will be back in their normal spots for the season run-in.

Woolf explained: “We just have to prepare for the future and wanted to have a little bit of a look at Morgan Knowles in the second row and thought it was an opportunity to see how he handles some edge.

“We are also trying to get some more minutes out of Morgan as well because although he capable of playing 80 minutes in the middle, it is a tough ask every week.

“This is a was just to lead him into playing a few more minutes by having him play more edge and then move him into the middle.

“It meant that he’s playing 65-70 minutes with a view to playing 80 at some stage in the future.

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“But it is double-edged as it also takes Zeb out of the intensity of the firing line for a week or two, but he’ll certainly come back into that starting role this week or next as we start getting everybody used to the positions they are going to play.”

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Saints take on Wakefield again tonight (7.45pm) at Warrington and again they will be without James Graham, who is having to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone with Covid.

Although he will be a miss, Woolf believes the enforced break could be a blessing as he builds up to the season finale.

“We have got some equipment to him so he can train, he’s got weights and aerobic equipment he can use,” Woolf said.

“He’s a very driven bloke and an experienced campaigner who will certainly be keeping fit – he will have no dramas when he comes back.

“I don’t like to say it about him, but an enforced break may even be a positive for him in allowing him to finish the year really fresh.

“I know the hunger that it will put in him so we’ll be really looking forward to him coming back.”