Challenge Cup final: St Helens v Warrington Wolves
|Coral Challenge Cup Final|
|Venue: Wembley Stadium, London Date: Saturday, 24 August Kick-off: 15:00 BST|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC One from 14:00 BST with live text and video on the BBC Sport website and app|
Warrington Wolves have left star half-back Blake Austin out of their 19-man squad as he struggles to recover from an ankle ligament tear.
Winger Josh Charnley and back-rower Jack Hughes both return, the latter from a testicular rupture.
St Helens are bolstered by the return of prop Alex Walmsley, hooker James Roby and full-back Lachlan Coote after they missed their league win at Leeds.
Joseph Paulo and Morgan Knowles also come in after they too missed the game.
Although Austin has not been included, Warrington may yet still name the Australian playmaker in the match-day squad, as they did with Stefan Ratchford in the semi-final.
The two sides have never met in a Challenge Cup final before.
Super League’s top two go in search of silver
St Helens, with 12 wins, and Warrington – with eight – are two of the most successful Challenge Cup clubs.
However, it is 11 years since the Saints last hoisted the trophy aloft, and despite final appearances in 2016 and 2018, Warrington have not triumphed since 2012.
The clubs arrive at Wembley as the top two sides in Super League, although Saints are 14 points clear at the top and have won all three meetings so far this term.
“We are happy we’ve beaten them so far this year but we disregard that,” said Saints coach Justin Holbrook.
“We remember that they beat us last year in the semi-final, and we’re a level-headed group.
“We’re confident but won’t be looking into the fact we’ve beaten them already.”
Warrington happy with underdogs tag
Steve Price’s Warrington come into the game on the back of five straight defeats in Super League, and with last season’s defeat by Catalans Dragons also in the back of their minds.
Contrast that form with Saints’ unrelenting march to the League Leaders’ Shield, and it is unsurprising that it is the RedVee rather than the Wire who start as favourites.
“We have an opportunity to write history,” Price said.
“All the pressure is on Saints, no-one has given us a chance and we’ve been written off. We’re happy with that.”
St Helens (from): Lomax, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Fages, Richardson, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles, Amor, Peyroux, Ashworth, Bentley, Coote.
Warrington Wolves (from): Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, Charnley, Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Murdoch-Masila, J Clark, Patton, Philbin, King, Akauola, Livett, Mamo, Davis, Westwood.