St Helens’ Mark Percival excited for fitting testimonial clash

MARK PERCIVAL will have hometown support for his testimonial fixture after Widnes Vikings were secured as St Helens’ opponents.

John Kear’s Championship team will visit the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday, January 27, for a pre-season fixture that serves as part of Percival’s testimonial year in 2023.

One-club man Percival has completed ten years in the Saints first team, playing in four Super League Grand Final wins and a Challenge Cup Final success.

The England international has established himself as one of the best centres in Super League and could make his 200th competitive appearance in the Red Vee in the World Club Challenge showdown with Penrith Panthers in February.

Before then, Saints will play Widnes, the town in which Percival was born and the club his brother Chris, who died from cancer aged 30 in 2010, once played for.

“I am delighted to now announce my testimonial fixture against Widnes,” said Percival.

“I was born in Widnes, so this is a fitting opponent for me and it will be a great opportunity for the fans to watch us prepare for our huge World Club Challenge in Australia a few weeks later.

“Widnes are a historic club and one of our local rivals, so it is set to be a tough and entertaining clash.”

The match is set to be Saints’ only pre-season fixture in England, with the squad then heading to Australia for a trip which takes in a clash with St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday, February 11, before the World Club Challenge seven days later.

Their first Super League match will be at Castleford Tigers on Sunday, February 26, meaning their opening competitive game at home won’t come until the visit of Leeds Rhinos on Friday, March 3.