LEWIS Dodd was cruelly denied his senior Saints debut after being told to self-isolate as a result of being in contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid.

A replacement for Theo Fages, the 18-year-old Widnesian was told the news on the eve of Friday's game at Headingley.

But coach Kristian Woolf has assured the player that the youngster will get his shot in the first team in the coming weeks.

Woolf said: "It was really disappointing for Lewis and the whole team.

"All of our blokes were really excited and looking forward to playing alongside him. He is a great young kid and a real talent.

"He has been 18th man every week since we came back from Covid for a reason, he has been really patient – training hard and doing all the right things.

"He is one of those players you want to get an opportunity – he’s been flying around and was ready to go all week.

"To get a phone call like that, at 8pm, the night before your debut was devastating call for him.

"Our blokes have done a really good job in rallying around him.

"He will make his debut in the next couple of weeks – there’s no doubt about that and we’ll all be just as excited to see him then because we all know he will do a great job when he gets that opportunity."

With Fages and Dodd out, Saints opted to play Jonny Lomax as scrum half, taking on the directing of operations.

It meant a switch to number six for 19-year-old Jack Welsby, slotting into the position he played at Academy level.

Welsby showed some nice touches, despite appearing to take a heavy knock in the first half and did not shirk the work in defence either.

"It is the first time he has played six for us, and he was outstanding," said Woolf.

"It shows what a footy player he is and how versatile he is that he has now played one, wing, centre and now six for us and done a good job in every position.

"He muscled up well defensively and I thought he was really strong.

"He is a young fella but we forget he is quite a big kid as well. As the game got on he got a little bit more confident in the role and took the line on more and got better as the game wore on.

"We know that if we have to play him at six at any stage then he would do a really good job. Likewise, if we were to put him anywhere in the back line. He is a great kid to have in your team."

Meanwhile 20-year-old centre got his second start for the first team, after making his debut last year in the depleted team sent to London.

A player with from strong rugby league stock, as the grandson of former Saints sipper Geoff Pimblett, Simm has been praised for the way he responded to his own training during and after the lockdown period.

And but for a forward pass being called, he would have scored his first senior try.

"He was strong – he started a little bit nervous with his first couple of touches," Woolf said.

" Within that first 10 minute period when he got a bit more active and got to make a couple more tackles and runs, he got more confident as well.

"He looks like a bloke who deserves to be in Super League and one who will get better with every game he plays.

"I'm looking forward to see him develop."