BEN Murdoch-Masila has been hailed as “world class” by St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf – his national team boss with Tonga.

The Wire powerhouse has been a key figure in Woolf’s transformation of Tonga into a force to be reckoned with on the international scene.

The second rower featured in Tonga’s run to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup semi finals and started their wins over Great Britain and world champions Australia last autumn.

In a change from finding the best way to harness his power, Woolf is now charged with stopping Murdoch-Masila tonight when he takes his Saints side to The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“He is a world class player and I have had the privilege of dealing with him,” Woolf said.

“Ben was in the first Tonga team I was ever involved with back in 2013.

“Sometimes being over here makes it difficult for guys to come back when games are in Australia and New Zealand, but he has been involved every year in some capacity since then.

“I rate him very highly as a bloke and as a player and will be a key person for us to stop on Thursday.”

Woolf's first Super League game in charge of Saints saw them thrash Salford Red Devils 48-8 on Friday.

It puts them top of the embryonic 2020 table on points difference and he is now turning his attention to inflicting a second straight loss on The Wire.

However, the Red Vee boss was impressed with Warrington's display in defeat at Wigan in their opener and knows his side will have to be at their best.

Woolf said: “I know they are a very good footy side. I am very aware of the close contests last year and them beating us in the Challenge Cup.

“I know a number of their players - and it will be a tough close contest.

“One thing I took out of their game with Wigan is that they played with 12 men for 60 minutes and then 11 for a period, but not at any stage were they out of that contest.

“It was a real committed performance that says to me that whatever we do, it is going to have to be for 80 minutes.”