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TEAM NEWS: Warrington Wolves v St Helens
WARRINGTON Wolves have named four of their talented young guns on the bench for tonight’s opening Super League clash with St Helens.
While an experienced starting line-up includes Stefan Ratchford at full back, Michael Monaghan at stand off and Roy Asotasi making his full debut at prop, Wolves have Ben Evans, James Laithwaite, Glenn Riley and Gareth O’Brien as replacements.
That means no match tonight for new recruit Anthony England from Featherstone Rovers.
Prop forward Evans, the twin of centre or winger Rhys, gained Super League experience with Bradford Bulls last season and played for Wales in the World Cup but this will be his first top-flight game in primrose and blue.
Warringtonian O’Brien has been in and around the first team for several years and gained Super League experience with Widnes Vikings, Castleford Tigers and St Helens, but now he is aiming to press his claims for a half-back role vacated by the retired Lee Briers.
Forwards Riley, who hails from Cumbria, and Warringtonian Laithwaite have a handful of first-team games between them from last season and are now looking to step into the shoes of departed Adrian Morley, Garreth Carvell and Mike Cooper.
Richie Myler makes his 100th Wolves appearance tonight, while Chris Bridge needs two tries for a career century.
In contrast, Saints have a highly experienced bench tonight.
There must be close to 1,000 senior games between Italian prop Anthony Laffranchi, Samoan back rower Sia Soliola and ex-Great Britain full back Paul Wellens.
Saints have two debutants in their ranks, former Penrith Panthers scrum half Luke Walsh and ex-Wakefield prop Kyle Amor.
Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Joel Monaghan, Chris Bridge, Ryan Atkins, Chris Riley; Michael Monaghan, Richie Myler; Chris Hill, Micky Higham, Roy Asotasi, Ben Westwood, Trent Waterhouse, Ben Currie. Subs: Ben Evans, James Laithwaite, Gareth O’Brien, Glenn Riley.
Saints: Jonny Lomax; Tommy Makinson, Jordan Turnr, Mark Percival, Adam Swift; Gary Wheeler, Luke Walsh; Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Kyle Amor, Jon Wilkin, Willie Manu, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: Anthony Laffranchi, Sia Soliola, Josh Jones, Paul Wellens.