St Helens suffer injury blows ahead of trip to Toulouse Olympique

Super League leaders St Helens have had a number of injury issues confirmed with forwards Alex Walmsley, Sione Mata’utia and Joe Batchelor all sidelined.

All three were forced off in Saints’ victory over Warrington Wolves last week and none will be able to play in Saturday’s trip to Toulouse Olympique.

Walmsley is expected to be sidelined for a fortnight, also ruling him out of St Helens’ trip to Whitehaven in the sixth round of the Challenge Cup.

Mata’utia, who was already set to miss the next two matches after picking up a suspension, is set to be out for longer.

“They are both hamstring-related, but we think Alex will only be two weeks,” said Saints boss Kristian Woolf. “We are not quite sure how long with Sione, but we think between four and six weeks.

“They have been two of our best forwards over the opening rounds and it is obviously a blow.

“But in the big scheme of things over a long season, two weeks is not going to hurt Al too much.

“While four to six is a lot more significant for Sione, there is a lot of footy to be played and we are going to be fine and able to cope without those guys.”

Batchelor received a head knock against Warrington and is said to be recovering well but, as per the concussion protocols, he is unable to face Toulouse.

Saints also have doubts on fullback Jack Welsby, who was forced off late against the Wolves, but Woolf said that “he should come through okay” for the trip to France.