INTERNATIONAL loose forward Morgan Knowles is not in Saints' 21 man squad for the Super League opener against Salford.

The 2020 Player of the Year had surgery on his thumb in the off-season - and the coaching staff had hoped he would be ready.

However, on naming the team today, the club state: "Unfortunately, since then there's been a slight complication with that surgery meaning he will miss a number of weeks."

Sione Mata'utia took his place in the trial game against Leigh and is expected to carry on there.

On the challenge posed by Salford, Kristian Woolf said: "We are expecting a real challenge.

"They have a strong squad and they will be well-coached and prepared for round one.

"If you look at their trial form they have played really well.

"They played really well and smart against Wigan and so they are going to come in confident and come wanting to make a point, but so will everyone we play this year so we have to, make sure we are ready to go too."

Saints 21: 1, Lachlan Coote, 2, Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival,  5. Regan Grace, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Joel Thompson, 12, James Bentley, 14. Sione Mata’utia, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Agnatius Paasi, 18. Jack Welsby, 19. Aaron Smith, 20, Joe Batchelor, 21. Lewis Dodd, 22, Josh Simm.