WARRINGTON Wolves have made shock team changes for the Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull FC in Bolton.

Stefan Ratchford, not named in the 19-man squad on Thursday, has missed the last nine matches with a pectoral tear but he starts at full-back in the crunch clash at University of Bolton Stadium.

Winger Josh Charnley is the huge omission from the 17-man squad chosen by Steve Price as The Wire bid to reach the final at Wembley for the third time in four years.

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Charnley, who is assumed to be injured, is replaced on the right wing by Jake Mamo, the man who had been previously deputising for Ratchford at full-back.

While Ratchford’s importance to the team is unquestionable when he is fully fit, his selection having not played since collecting the pectoral problem in the home Super League loss to Hull FC on May 18 had to be considered a calculated gamble.

There is no doubt he has been missed,

He brings all-round talent to the full-back role that no other player in the club can deliver - from his positioning at the back, ability to defuse high kicks, the communication with the defensive line, the trickery and stepping at pace with the ball, the ability to chime into the attacking line on either side of the field and deliver a killer play.

His place in the team provides others with a confidence perhaps not as noticeable when he is not in the number one shirt.

No matter what he has achieved on the training field to get him back on the pitch today, he will no doubt be rusty in some areas of his game – such as his timing.

He is a world-class performer though, an England international, and Price is clearly banking on Ratchford being able to pull this off.

The 31-year-old went into last year’s semi-final against Leeds Rhinos at the same venue in difficult circumstances.

His third daughter Tullulah was born a few days before the game but had to battle through the first few days of her life.

Ratchford explained, going into last year's cup final: “My partner Kirsty and I did have a bit of a scare. Well, actually, it was unbelievably scary.

“Kirsty was booked in for a section which was going to be the Thursday or the Friday, a few days before the semi final on the Sunday and the last possible time she could have that.

“My missus asked if there was any chance she could have the section a couple of days earlier.

“So in the end we welcomed our third daughter into the world on the Tuesday before the semi final.

“But for the first few days after she was born she had some breathing difficulties and until the Saturday she was in intensive care.

“I was literally going to training and straight back to the hospital.

“A couple of hours after she was born she was struggling.

“The nurse said her heartrate was quite high and decided to bring the paediatrician in.

“The paediatrician came to check on her but said she’d forgotten her gloves.

“She said I’ll just nip and get them but as she was about to walk off she said ‘Actually, do you mind if I take her with me because it’ll probably be easier to do all the checks’.

“Five minutes later one of the other nurses came back and said can you come with us, your daughter’s just having a couple of issues.

“When I got there, she lost all colour but lucky enough she was straight on the oxygen and all that sort of stuff.

“From Tuesday until Saturday morning it was scary times.

“But at the back end of the week she started showing some signs of improvement.

“I went training on the Saturday morning and when I finished I had a message saying the baby was on the up and hopefully she’d be out maybe Sunday or Monday.

“It wasn’t the greatest few days, but thankfully we got the good news that she was going to be alright.

“The next day we got the win so it was a good end, the best possible end, to the week.

“The Sunday for me was just a case of getting through the game the best I possibly could.

“When we’d got far enough in front to know we weren’t going to lose, I just felt relief.

“That was especially when Tommy Lineham took the intercept and went the length of the field towards the end of the game.

“I went over and celebrated with Tommy. I knew time was up, and when I walked back to the halfway line I just felt ‘Phew, thank God this week’s over with - she’s going to be alright and the game’s done’.”