KRISTIAN Woolf says there is a positive to form prop Alex Walmsley being sidelined for the derby against Wigan.

International front rower Big Al will be absent through suspension when on Friday night at the Totally Wicked Stadium Saints face their toughest test since the Challenge Cup quarter-final loss to Warrington Wolves.

Head coach Woolf said: “What we miss with Alex is the obvious one – he’s the best carrier in the comp in terms of getting your team forward, getting you on the front foot, getting you a quick play-the-ball.

“We’ve had a lot of success off him in terms of him being able to create things or us being able to create things on the back of his carries.

“He’s a bit of a leader for our group as well, and he likes to be nice and aggressive as you need your front rowers to be.

“We know that we’re losing a bit without Alex, but I’ve got full confidence other blokes will step into positions and take a little bit more responsibility and work a little bit harder to be at their best and then we’ll cover that void no dramas.

“But in terms of Alex and him maintaining momentum at this time of the year, I don’t think it hurts him to miss a game.

“He played two games in three days and he’s certainly got plenty of fitness in his legs.

“He’s been playing really good minutes and really good consistent footy. So, if anything, a week gives him a little bit of a freshen up, but don’t get me wrong we’d love for him to be playing this game and he’d love to be playing too.

“But in the long term I think it certainly gives him a freshen up and probably bodes well for him.”

Walmsley was initially handed a two-match ban for Grade C dangerous contact on centre Alex Sutcliffe in Friday’s win against Challenge Cup winners Leeds, but a successful appeal on Tuesday saw the infringement downgraded and the suspension reduced to one game.