FRIDAY'S home Super League game against Hull KR has been postponed due to Saints having more than seven of their top 25 players required to isolate either following positive Covid tests or as close contacts.

Saints' Challenge Cup Final opponents Castleford have also postponed their game under the Covid Fixture Protocols.

Castleford had been due to play in Catalans on Saturday, but Tigers too have more than seven of their top 25 players required to isolate either following positive Covid tests or as close contacts, allowing them to postpone the match under the protocols.

Saints have issued a statement explaining the matter.

It reads: "As per the RFL Covid Protocols, the Club lateral flow tested all of its squad before our trip to Wembley for the Betfred Challenge Cup Final with all results coming back negative.

"Following the travel back from Wembley, the whole squad and coaching staff were then lateral flow tested again on arrival at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Monday before the Club’s homecoming parade that same evening – organised with St Helens council and in-line with government protocols.

"All the players and staff who were present on the homecoming parade bus returned negative lateral flow tests.

"One player who was not part of the 21 man squad at Wembley returned a positive lateral flow test.

"The Club therefore made the sensible decision to then PCR test the whole squad and coaching staff with the health and well-being of the players and their families being paramount.

"The PCR tests have since returned a further two positive tests which has subsequently led to a large number of the squad having to self isolate through track and trace and close contacts.

"The Club has therefore had more than seven of our top 25 players required to isolate meaning the game has to be postponed under the Covid Fixture Protocols."

The postponed fixture will be added to the list for possible rearrangement, although the Betfred Super League table will be determined by win points percentage to allow for the possibility of not all fixtures being fulfilled.

Discussions are ongoing about the possible impact on Saints' home fixture against Huddersfield the following Wednesday, with further announcements to be made as soon as possible.

Hull KR’s outstanding away fixture at Catalans Dragons has been re-arranged for Saturday night (July 24).

The Catalans-Hull KR game had been scheduled for July 5 but was postponed because of a number of Covid positives at Hull KR.

“The growing number of postponements, while reflecting the prevalence of Covid-19 in society, is a major concern for Rugby League as for other sports,” said Karen Moorhouse, the RFL’s Chief Regulatory Officer.

“In that context, Hull KR’s willingness to rearrange their away match against Catalans Dragons is an example of the flexibility that served the sport so well through 2020, and which may be required over the coming weeks and months.”

Rhodri Jones, Super League chief commercial officer said: “I would like to thank Hull KR for their willingness to accommodate a late fixture change to this week’s schedule and helping to ensure a game goes ahead in Perpignan.”