St Helens set for welcome injury returnee against Hull FC

ST HELENS expect to have Mark Percival back for the visit of Hull FC this Friday.

The veteran centre has been recovering from a head injury suffered during Saints’ Good Friday derby win over Wigan.

As well as missing the subsequent Super League trip to Catalans during his mandatory stand-down period, Percival was also sidelined for Sunday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final tie with Warrington.

Coach Paul Wellens said the extended rest came after consultation with a specialist.

“It’s a really positive result. He’s likely to be available against Hull FC,” said Wellens.

“We’re all well aware now of the cautions that need to be taken around brain health, so it’s a decision (not to play against Warrington) that we’re completely comfortable with.”

Percival’s has now missed four of the past five matches, after serving a two-match suspension prior to the Wigan game for his red card in a defeat to Salford.

Ahead of the Wolves’ visit in the Cup, St Helens were yet to name the same centre partnership in consecutive games this season.

Backrowers Sione Mata’utia and Matt Whitley have both filled in at various times, with Konrad Hurrell missing two games and Waqa Blake dropped to the reserves on the weekend of the Catalans game.

While Percival should be back this week, Saints will have to wait a little longer on forward Jake Wingfield, who will miss at least the next few weeks with a shoulder injury.

Matty Lees will return against Hull after serving a two-match suspension for head contact on Good Friday.

And fellow prop Alex Walmsley is sticking around at Saints for another two seasons after signing a fresh contract through to 2026.

“I feel like I’ve got a few good years left in me,” said Walmsley, 34.