SAINTS coach Justin Holbrook has admitted that Thursday's trip to Warrington is an awkward one - but he has nevertheless selected a strong side.

They will still be without Alex Walmsley, Lachlan Coote and Morgan Knowles - with skipper James Roby also sitting it out.

Warrington have a number of injury and suspension issues arising from their stormy game in France - but will be seeking a win to arrest their slide in the league that has seen their second place under threat from Hull and Wigan.

Holbrook said: “I think the game on Thursday is awkward for everybody and we all know that so for us its about picking a side that’s healthy and not risking anyone if they’ve got niggling injuries.

"Outside of that it’s just about going there and putting in another good performance.

"We’ve done it every other week this year so we want that to continue this week."

Given the number of players missing from both sides, it is not quite a dress rehearsal for Wembley - but both will be out to continue to lay down a marker.

Holbrook said: “I think with the number of players out from both sides its probably not going to be a true indication of the cup final that’s for sure, but once you get there and kick off, the boys will want to play well.

“I’m not too sure how Warrington approaching Thursdays game.

" They’re in a difficult spot now, obviously they’d like to be in clear second spot, but haven’t probably played the best they would’ve liked over the last few weeks.

"Now this week in terms of injuries or guys looking a bit tired, they’ve got to probably change their tack more than they would’ve liked.

"They’ll be okay, they’re a very good side. We’ve just got to worry about ourselves.”

He explained why James Roby is missing from the 19 man squad for the trip.

“Robes is just pulling up a little bit sore after his surgery so he easily could have played, but as I said if he’s got a bit of a niggle, there’s no point playing him and that’s the case and we all know Aaron Smith does a great job for us every time he plays for us in the first team so we can give him another game.”

Although not named in the 18 players listed by Wolves, there is speculation that former Saint Matty Smith could be on his way to Warrington.

Wolves lost Kevin Brown at the start of the year and now have doubts over Blake Austin.

“I think it’s a smart move by them to bring in Matty Smith.

"Matty is a very experienced half back and he’s been playing for a long time, so it’s a really smart move by Warrington,” Holbrook said.