St Helens coach Justin Holbrook has insisted his four England players who were away in Denver last week will be ready to go to face Wakefield tonight.
James Roby, Jonny Lomax and Tommy Makinson all played in high-altitude and searing heat against New Zealand – with in-form prop Luke Thompson also spending the week with the squad.
And with only six days passed since that game, there are perhaps inevitable fears over their condition to face Trinity – but Holbrook has poured cold water on those worries.
“They all came through it well which is pleasing,” he said. “It was a big trip for them and I was really proud of how they played. It was good to see England have a dominant win and the boys who play for us have such a big part in that.
“They came back into training on Monday and will be ready to go on Friday.
“Tommy Mak has been great all year and did exactly the same for England. It came at an important time too as the game progressed. He made a difference and had an impact. I was really pleased for him.”
Holbrook admitted he was disappointed Thompson – arguably the best prop in the competition this year – was unable to force his way into the side for his international debut: but said he will benefit from the experience.
He said: “I was disappointed that Luke Thompson didn’t play but it was a great experience for him. He was really upbeat about it all and appreciated being part of it for a week.
“He was happy to be a part of the set-up and moving forward under Wayne Bennett. He hasn’t come back disappointed or wanting to prove a point, it is a progression for him.”
Holbrook has also refused to underestimate opponents Wakefield tonight – who are one of only two sides to beat the Saints so far in 2018.
“Wakefield are a really good side,” he said. “They beat us earlier in the season and over the last five or six weeks have been great. They nearly beat Warrington, then easily beat Wigan and had a good victory over the weekend.
“They have kept the same side for the last five or six weeks too. They are a dangerous, well balanced side.
“They have a big pack of forwards, lightning quick outside backs and Jacob Miller has a good kicking game.
“We know we have to make sure we play well to take home the points.”