SAINTS will not be taking newly-promoted London Broncos lightly when they kick off their 2024 Super League campaign at home on Friday (tonight 8pm).

Coach Paul Wellens has looked at the way Broncos surprised the more fancied Featherstone and Toulouse to secure their return to the top-flight for the first time since 2019 and highlight players who can cause his side trouble.

He also knows that a good start to the campaign can set a tone and is looking for a committed performance on a night that will see senior Saints debuts for Daryl Clark, Matt Whitley and Waqa Blake.

Wellens said: “London have been on a journey for 12-18 months and Mike Eccles has certainly galvanised them as a group and they are pulling in the right direction.

“They certainly upset a few teams last year and it is clear for all to see what we are coming up against.

“We will certainly have to respect them and look at the way they play and the individuals in the team who can cause us trouble.

“But also the main focus for us has to be ourselves and how we approach it mentally, and put some of the stuff we have worked on in pre-season into practice and once again it is about getting results off the back of it.

“What we need first and foremost from everyone is a committed performance.

With three, possibly four seniors out, Wellens could reward some players for their great work done in pre-season.

“I have still yet to finalise my team but Jake Burns will be in the 21. He has been brilliant in pre-season in his first year as a full time player he has really excelled.

“So he could come into the reckoning and we have a number of players, like Ben Davies and Jake Wingfield whose versatility gives us options.

“There are a few things for me to figure out yet but I am pretty happy with where we are at.”

Wellens is looking for “a committed and a tough performance”.

“I want us to really go out there and set a standard around how we are going to approach the rest of the season.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to do that but to do it well and effectively we have to pay London the utmost respect.,” he said.

Saints’ three new recruits are set to make their first senior appearances on Friday - Waqa Blake, Daryl Clark and Matt Whitley.

Sione Mata’utia is available following the serving of a two-match suspension picked up at the end of last season, and England international Matty Lees, who did not play in Saints’ two pre-season matches, is also in the 21-man squad for Friday night.

St Helens 21-man squad vs London Broncos 1.Jack Welsby, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Waqa Blake, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Jon Bennison, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Sione Mata’utia, 15. James Bell, 16. Curtis Sironen, 18. Jake Wingfield, 19. Matt Whitley, 20. George Delaney, 21. Ben Davies, 22. Sam Royle, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 24. Jake Burns, 25. Tee Ritson.