St Helens vs Leeds Rhinos Live BroadCasT Online Free 23 June 2022 Rugby League Super League, Round 16 Super League: Talking points and team news for Thursday's historic double-header
The women's and men's teams of St Helens and Leeds face off in a historic double-header at Totally Wicked Stadium on Thursday evening; watch both matches live on Sky Sports Arena from 5pm
We take a look at the team news and what is being said ahead of Thursday's women's and men's double-header involving Betfred Super League teams St Helens and Leeds Rhinos, live on Sky Sports...
It will be another step forward for the Women's Super League on Thursday night as St Helens and Leeds provide the opening act of what promises to be an enthralling double-header (5.30pm kick-off).
The latest meeting of the two pre-eminent sides in the competition is not only a rematch of the 2021 Grand Final but also this year's Women's Challenge Cup final, both of which saw Saints emerge victorious.
Rhinos half-back Courtney Winfield-Hill is excited by the prospect of taking on their rivals on the big stage for a regular-season fixture and is hoping fans from both clubs will get there early to give their support.
"We can't wait for it, to play on these pitches and double-headers," Winfield-Hill told Sky Sports News. "We know already the club rivalry that exists in the men's space and the women's space is a new rivalry.
"But you have a look at our Challenge Cup final the other week and the number of people who turned out to support - it was dominant with the St Helens fans so we're hoping for a few more Leeds fans to get out there on Thursday.
"But we're establishing terrific competition, especially between our two clubs. It's a terrific rivalry and it'll certainly be all guns blazing between the two teams."
Newly capped international Winfield-Hill is set to be one of four Leeds players in action who featured for England in last Saturday's 36-10 win over France which also formed part of a double-header with their male counterparts at Warrington's Halliwell Jones Stadium.
St Helens, meanwhile, will likely have seven of that team playing, and while prop Chantelle Crowl is delighted with how much the women's game has grown to this point, she is in no doubt there is still more progress to make.
"It used to just be your mum and dad walking the dog coming to watch you but now there is fans, fans from the men's game follow you, people in the street that get word of it coming to see you play and it is nice that we have got that in the game as well and not just the men's," Crowl told Sky Sports in an interview which will feature as part of the build-up to Thursday's match.
"We do it for the love of the game because pay, we have never had it, but I think we deserve something like that.
St. Helens made it five Super League wins in succession as they got the better of Hull KR in their last outing but they were given a bit of a scare in that contest and will want to put in an improved performance here.
Saints continue to chop and change their side as they aim to fill the void left by Lewis Dodd’s season-ending injury but they should have Morgan Knowles and Jonny Lomax available for this clash after the pair sat out England’s game with the Combined Nations All Stars last week.
21-man squad: 1 Jack Welsby, 2 Tommy Makinson, 3 Will Hopoate, 5 Regan Grace, 6 Jonny Lomax, 8 Alex Walmsley, 9 James Roby, 10 Matty Lees, 12 Joe Batchelor, 13 Morgan Knowles, 14 Joey Lussick, 26 Curtis Sironen, 17 Agnatius Paasi, 19 Jake Wingfield, 21 Josh Simm, 22 Ben Davies, 23 Konrad Hurrell, 24 Dan Norman, 26 Sam Royle, 27 Jon Bennison, 29 Dan Hill
Leeds Rhinos were unable to build on their recent upturn in form as they were comfortably beaten by Huddersfield Giants last time out as they suffered just a second loss in their last six matches.
The Rhinos were unable to live with the quality of the Giants but they could receive a huge boost for this clash with halfback Aidan Sezer named in the 21-man squad following a three-month layoff while James Bentley also returns from suspension.
St. Helens maintained their lead at the top of Super League as they overcame Hull KR last time out. The defending champions have now won their last five league games and while they were not at their best in that success against Rovers, they are still proving very difficult to beat. They will be confident of putting in an improved performance after enjoying a week off for the international weekend with opponents Leeds Rhinos coming into this on the back of a poor loss against Huddersfield Giants. The Rhinos lost for just the second time in six games but the manner of that defeat suggests they still have a long way to go to turn the corner and the quality of the league leaders is likely to be too much for them to deal with.