KRISTIAN Woolf has given an update on Saints’ casualties Mark Percival and Matty Lees and has again stressed the importance of those players getting on the paddock before the big day at Wembley.

Prop Lees has not played since breaking his ankle early in the Challenge Cup tie against Leeds, whilst Percival has been out since the end of May.

Prior to that Percival, who missed most of last season with shoulder and then hamstring injuries, had played seven times this year scoring five tries.

The England centre has been left out after niggles arising from his hamstring surgery surfaced, but Woolf is confident of his return at the end of the week.

“Mark Percival will definitely be back for Wigan while Matty Lees will be the next week or two,” he said.

“For blokes who have been out for a long time like those two, it gives us an opportunity over the next couple of weeks.

“One, there will be fresh bodies and fresh minds coming into a group that is going to have to play a lot of footy.

“That brings a real positive, that bit of excitement, freshness that those guys bring to the squad in a tough period is going to help us.”

Back in 2019 Woolf’s predecessor Justin Holbrook pitched in a number of senior players – Lachlan Coote, James Roby, Alex Walmsley and Morgan Knowles - who had played limited football before Wembley.

And that was considered a key factor in their defeat by Warrington that baking-hot afternoon.

That is why Woolf wants those players to get some match fitness under their belts before the showdown with Castleford.

St Helens Star:

After Wigan on Sunday the away trip to Wakefield a week on Friday will be Lees' last chance to get game time before Wembley. 

“It is important that they get some footy under their belt. We all know the importance of Wembley and know what a big and challenging game that is going to be.

“It is really important that those blokes who have been out for a while get the opportunity to play some footy ahead of a game they certainly want to be at their best for,” he said.