Woolf ponders doubling up

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf believes that playing the remainder of the season in a condensed time span is possible, as long as player welfare is taken into account.

But the Tonga coach and former Newcastle Knights interim chief says there should be a limit on the number of midweek matches.

“If we’re talking about three games in nine or ten days, then it’s doable,” said the coach tasked with the aim of retaining the Super League title won under Justin Holbrook last year.

“If we’re asked to do that a couple of times through the season, whatever the season looks like, then it’s possible.

“It just means that as coaches and players, we are going to have to accept that at different times, players might not play all three games over that period.

“If you’re talking about three games over a seven-day period, then I think that becomes unrealistic and that’s when we put players under more risk than they currently take.

“The reason it’s a welfare issue is because if players aren’t given adequate time for rehab and recovery for injuries they play with, the fatigue factor would certainly put them at physical risk.

Given the coronavirus crisis, it’s certainly not been the start at Saints that Woolf, who was talking on the Last Tackle podcast, could have expected.

His side was sixth in the standings at lockdown, having won three out of six, against Salford in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final, Hull and Toronto.

But they suffered defeats in the last two matches played, at home to Huddersfield and away to Castleford on March 6 and 15 respectively.

Saints, who had previously slumped 19-0 at Warrington, also hosted Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge, losing 20-12.

Meanwhile, Woolf and leading player Jonny Lomax marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday by making socially-distanced visits to Armed Forces veterans living in St Helens.