Woolf eyes Shield again

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf wants his side to secure a third straight League Leaders’ Shield as the 2020 campaign draws to a conclusion.

The club is the only one to achieve the feat before in the summer era, lifting it on four straight occasions between 2005 and 2008.

Now Woolf is keen for his side to maintain their place at the competition’s summit ahead of two matches this week against Salford and rivals Wigan.

“It’d be a great achievement, that’s for sure, and it’s something we’d like to do and are aiming to do,” Woolf said.

“It is going to be difficult because there are so many games played in short periods and the fact of the matter is you’re going to have to rotate people, whether you like it or not.

“You’re going to have to rotate good players and that does make it hard to win every game.

“But it’s certainly something we’d love to do.”

Woolf will rotate his squad again for the Red Devils clash, with the likes of James Graham, Lewis Dodd and Jack Welsby – all left out of Friday night’s win over Leeds – expected to return.

And the Australian coach admits that there is part of him relishing the unprecedented challenges that the 2020 season is throwing at coaches and players.

Woolf added: “It’s unique, a bit of a challenge but every team is in the same boat.

“That makes it better because it means no-one’s got an advantage or disadvantage through that period.

“We’re going to have to give some young blokes opportunities and it’s exciting to be able to do that as well – it is a challenge for everyone.”

Last week the club confirmed the signing of Manly backrower Joel Thompson from next season, as first revealed in League Express in June.

Thompson, 32, has signed a two-year deal with St Helens.

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