St Helens (2/1 Fav – Grand Final Winner) head coach Kristian Woolf says the “unfortunate” injury to Regan Grace will offer up the chance for some other players in the squad to step up and stake their claim for a starting place.
Welsh wing Grace has been a standout player for Saints since making his debut against Wigan Warriors in 2017, plundering an impressive 84 appearances tries, and he was hoping to hit the ground running in the 2022 Betfred Super League campaign.
However, Woolf has now confirmed the 25-year-old will miss the first month of the season after suffering an elbow injury that has then had a knock-on effect on his bicep tendon.
“Regan’s injury is something we have had to intervene with and he is going to miss a little bit of footy – the first month,” he said, as quoted by the St Helens Star. “That is a bit of a knock for us and really unfortunate.
“In the big scheme of things he will have plenty of footy to play when he gets back.”
Although disappointed about Grace’s (50/1 – Man Of Steel 2022 Winner) injury news, Woolf says this setback will provide the opportunity for other players in the squad to come in and help the team during this period.
He added: “It is a great opportunity for some other blokes. It is a big part of being able to have success in long seasons – you will always have your setbacks and injuries are a big part of our game and part of the challenge.”
Woolf specifically mentioned the names of Josh Simm, Ben Davies and Jon Bennison when speaking about individuals that could be presented with more playing time because of Grace’s absence.
St Helens begin their 2022 Betfred Super League campaign at home to Catalans Dragons on February 10 in a rematch of last season’s Grand Final and the reigning champions are 4/11 favourites to win, while the draw is priced at 20/1 and the visitors are 9/4 to triumph.
The Saints are available at 16/1 with Betfred to win the Grand Final, regular season and Challenge Cup this season, while they are 8/1 for the Grand Final/Challenge Cup double – something they achieved in 2021.