French halfback Theo Fages could have played his last game for St Helens, after
And the man who skippered his country in the 2017 World Cup is facing a race against time to make this year’s tournament, should it go ahead.
Saints have confirmed the 26-year-old, who is out of contract this year and has been linked with Huddersfield, will miss the rest of the Super League season after surgery on a broken shoulder.
Former Salford player Fages, who would be reunited with his old Red Devils coach Ian Watson at Huddersfield, was troubled by the injury before the Challenge Cup Final.
He started the Wembley showdown with Castleford after having an injection, and scored the opening try, but after a string of uncharacteristic errors, didn’t reappear for the second half of a match his side won 26-12.
It’s believed Saints coach Kristian Woolf is keen to keep Fages, who was signed in 2016 has helped his club win two successive Grand Finals.
But with the club juggling salary-cap issues, he could follow fullback Lachlan Coote, who has agreed to join Hull KR next season, and Leeds-bound backrower James Bentley out of the door.
Woolf, who will also lose Australian forward Joel Thompson through retirement, recently revealed: “We have a number of blokes off contract and a lot of young guys coming through who deserve upgrades.
“That causes us some difficulties, with salary-cap pressure making it hard to keep the squad together.”
Meanwhile, Saints’ match at Hull FC this evening (Monday) will be their first in Super League since winning 30-14 at Wakefield on July 9. Woolf has named a 20-man squad.
Covid issues at the club have forced the postponement of home games against Hull KR and Huddersfield.
As well as Fages from their Wembley squad, Regan Grace misses out, while Agnatius Paasi and Josh Simm also are missing.
But Sione Mata’utia is back from his one game ban, which saw him miss the Cup Final whilst young Matty Foster is also named after breaking his jaw on duel-registration.
Saints squad: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Tommy Makinson, 3 Kevin Naiqama, 4 Mark Percival, 6 Jonny Lomax, 8 Alex Walmsley, 9 James Roby, 10 Matty Lees, 11 Joel Thompson, 13 Morgan Knowles, 14 Sione Mata’utia, 15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16 Kyle Amor, 18 Jack Welsby, 19 Aaron Smith, 20 Joe Batchelor, 21 Lewis Dodd, 24 Josh Eaves, 25 Dan Norman, 27 Matty Foster.
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