THE only shred of consolation Saints’ Welsh international packman Morgan Knowles can draw from his four game suspension will be to give him the opportunity of a pre-season he never had.

Knowles was sent off for a dangerous throw in the second half of the game against Catalans Dragons for his 53rd minute tackle on Thibaut Margalet.

The tough tackling Knowles enjoyed a fine 2017 which saw him shortlisted for the Young Player of the Year Award and go to autumn’s World Cup with Wales.

He will miss the games against Huddersfield, Salford, Warrington and Leeds but will be back a week before Easter.

Coach Justin Holbrook said: “Morgan is a great young player in our game and there is no malice in him.

“It was just one of those tackles where he probably connected too well to start with to stop him in his tracks, which is hard to do.

“He made a great job of that but unfortunately got out of control. In that situation the tackler has a responsibility to bring the ball carrier down in a nicer way.

“It was just an unfortunate tackle that just got out of control after the initial contact was probably too good.

"We all agree that we don't want to see those tackles, it is not a good look for the game and we expected him to miss some games because of that.

"But we would have liked to see the fact that was accidental tackle that went wrong be taken into account more, but the good thing is at least the player (Margalet) is not hurt."

The only positive Holbrook can draw on Knowles' behalf is that the break will not do the young forward any harm, given his intense 2017 since breaking into the team and the lack of a real off-season due to World Cup duty.

"He played in the World Cup at such a young age of 20 and virtually carried the Welsh team on his shoulders. He probably needed a pre-season more than most of the World Cup players and this gives him that opportunity.

"He was chasing his tail to get his fitness level for round one and he did that, the only plus side is he now has four weeks to get up to speed."

In Knowles absence, Holbrook is likely to use Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook in tandem with Jon Wilkin, with Kyle Amor coming back into the front row.