SAINTS are appealing the Grade B charge against in-form loose forward James Bell, and the one-match ban that will rule him out of the Good Friday game against Wigan.

Bell was sanctioned by the Match Review Panel today and the club have decided to challenge after "having conversations" about what to do about the charge.

If the ban stands, Saints will loose one of their key performers ahead of Super League's biggest game of the season against the Champions.

Speaking yesterday before the decision to challenge, Wellens said: "It's a really unfortunate one.

"We understand that there are players missing games now for different things.

"And I believe Belly has had a bit of an accident there and he did catch a player, but we'll have a conversation around whether we challenge that or not."

Saints lost Morgan Knowles with an arm injury midway through the first half of last Friday's Challenge Cup tie at Headingley, but today Wellens said they were hopeful that he is fit enough to play through the pain. 

Wellens said: "James has been excellent and it has been well documented how good he's been – but how both he and Morgan Knowles work in tandem together has been huge as well.

"James could not do what he does with the ball if he does not have the likes of Morgan or Matty Lees, or those guys on the field early doing all that tough stuff as well.

"If Belly is not there it's going to be a big miss for us, but again it is an opportunity for someone to step in and that's what we've had and done really well since the start of the season.

"And when players have been called upon, they've gone out there and done the job."