St Helens boss Kristian Woolf on the ‘silver lining’ to injury crisis

Kristian Woolf says St Helens are a prime example of how injuries can be a “silver lining” by giving young prospects their big break.

Many clubs across Super League are currently going through serious injury crises with huge numbers of players sidelined at once.

While Woolf admits it is “frustrating” to manage, he would prefer to look at the positive side and how top talents often get their breakthrough into the first team because of injury to other players.

“What injuries do is give young people opportunities,” said Woolf.

“The best two examples of that for our club over the last couple of years have been Lewis Dodd and Jack Welsby. 

“They earned their opportunities through hard work but they also got them through injury. 

“Jack Welsby become our left centre in 2020 because Mark Percival was out for the season. 

“Lewis Dodd played a bit of nine to get his opportunity last year but through Theo Fages’ injury he was given the number seven spot. 

“Once given that opportunity, they were able to show what they could do, how they would develop, and they are going to be two of the biggest stars in our game. 

“That’s part of our game, there’s always a bit of a silver lining there. 

“(This season) Jon Bennison has taken his opportunities through injury, Jake Wingfield and Ben Davies have done a similar thing.

“That’s what we need to worry about, who is on the field and what they are capable of.”

Saints will have Morgan Knowles and Curtis Sironen back in the pack following suspension this Friday, when they could lift the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time in three years at the home of fierce rivals Wigan Warriors with a win.

But Mark Percival (knee) remains sidelined and Sione Mata’utia will miss the Bank Holiday double header, which also features the visit of Wakefield Trinity next Monday (29 August), with a foot injury.

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