Saints squad “playing for their jerseys” at Magic as Holbrook arrival imminent

The St Helens squad are “playing for their jerseys” at this weekend’s Magic Weekend clash against Hull FC according to Sean Long – as new coach Justin Holbrook prepares to head to Newcastle to watch his new team.

The Saints head to Magic Weekend looking to bounce back from last weekend’s heavy defeat to Castleford in the Challenge Cup by taking on Lee Radford’s Black and Whites on Saturday afternoon in Newcastle.

However, Long told reporters at this week’s press conference that Holbrook’s arrival as head coach is imminent: and he will be in the stands watching this weekend.

“I spoke to Justin and he said just keep things ticking over, get the boys coming to training enjoying it, have a bit of belief and he told us to stick with the same team until he gets over here,” he said.

“He will be here Thursday or Friday. He will be sitting back and watching, but this is an added incentive for the boys to play well.”

Long also added that places in the team are on the line as the Saints players vie to impress Australian Holbrook as he prepares for a probable first game in charge against Wigan next week.

He said: “They are playing for their jerseys because next week, Justin will pick the side and will take it from there.

“The boys need a bit of a lift and a new coach coming in, with fresh ideas and a new pair of eyes, will give them a bit of a boost.”