YOUNG prop Matty Lees has a special motivation to be fit and firing for Saints’ World Club Challenge clash with Sydney Roosters in February.

The England Knights international, who was last year’s Super League young player of the year, missed out on Saints’ two big finals last term after sustaining an horrific perforated bowel at Leeds.

He not only missed out the Grand Final success, but the opportunity to tour after Wayne Bennett admitted that the 21-year-old would have made the Great Britain squad had he been fit.

Lees is now well on the road to recovery from an injury that surgeons described as one usually only seen in car crash victims, and he has his sights fixed firmly on week one.

The Rochdale-born prop, who sustained the injury the week before Wembley, said: “I have been working hard with physio Nathan Mill in the off-season to get myself right for pre-season.

“Everything is fine and I am progressing well

“It is good to be back with the lads having missed out on the back end of last season - my aim is to be out there for the start, but maybe try a few friendlies.

“But looking ahead to the Roosters, having missed out on some silverware at the end of last year, this will be my first chance of the year to get something and will be a good challenge for me.”

New coach Kristian Woolf expects Lees to be right for the start, and has praised his work ethic and application.

“He is not a player I knew a lot about until mid year, but I have been really impressed with him,” he said.

“He is obviously a player with a lot of development left in him and a good bloke too.

“He applies himself well to everything that is asked of him - and I am really looking forward to coaching him.”

With Morgan Knowles and Tommy Makinson also progressing well from shoulder surgery, Woolf expects a fully fit squad to start the campaign.