THE eagerly anticipated return of Agnatius Paasi and the call-up of England Academy captain Jonny Vaughan are the two headlines from Paul Wellens' 21-man squad to face Leeds Rhinos on Friday.

Vaughan was part of the Academy Champion Saints side in 2023, and he has been impressing while on dual-registration with Swinton Lions in recent weeks.

Paasi played 25 minutes in two spells in the Reserves last week - his first action since suffering an ACL and MCL in the Challenge Cup semi final last July.

Jake Wingfield, who has had shoulder surgery, and Tee Ritson drop out of the squad. 

Of Leeds, Saints head Coach Paul Wellens said: "We had two hard contests against them earlier on this year.

"We also had two games last year that both went down to Golden Point wins with - one each way.

"That just shows the competitive nature of the Saints v Leeds fixture and it seems to always have been that way.

"There are slightly contrasting styles, and that makes for an intriguing contest also.

"But we have got a huge amount to respect for Leeds as a club and we have played them in numerous big games over the years and we look forward to again another huge challenge on the weekend."

St.Helens 21-man squad v. Leeds Rhinos: 1.Jack Welsby, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Waqa Blake, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Jon Bennison, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Matty Lees, 11. Sione Mata’utia, 12. Joe Batchelor, 14. Moses Mbye, 15. James Bell, 16. Curtis Sironen, 17. Agnatius Paasi, 20. George Delaney, 21. Ben Davies, 22. Sam Royle, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 30. Jonny Vaughan, 31. Noah Stephens.