Soliola set to miss Bulls game
Former New Zealand international Sia Soliola is almost certain to miss St Helens’ trip to Bradford Bulls on Saturday, but with a rugby-related problem rather than the facial injuries he sustained in a street attack.
The 25-year-old former Sydney Roosters centre or second rower had to have hospital treatment after being the victim of an alleged assault outside a town-centre bar in the early hours of yesterday morning. Three people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Soliola, an ever-present so far this year, was back at the club today but unable to train after damaging a knee in last Friday’s 22-10 home defeat by Hull FC.
“There’s no structural damage to his face but he’s getting a scan now on his knee,” Saints head coach Royce Simmons told a news conference at Langtree Park.
“He’s still in with some hope of playing but he’s very doubtful. I think it’s probably only a week to two weeks.”
Soliola will be among a host of absentees at Odsal as Saints look for their first win in five matches.
Scrum-half Jonny Lomax has joined hooker James Roby on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, prop Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook is ruled out with an ankle problem and Chris Flannery and Paul Clough are other doubts.
“We’re pretty battered and bruised,” added Simmons. “Jonny’s got some muscle damage which will probably keep him out for a week.
“We could needle him up and play him this week but then he’d probably battle with the injury for the rest of the year so he won’t play this week.”
Back rower Mark Flanagan is ready to turn and Simmons says Gary Wheeler and Nathan Ashe are among his options to partner Lee Gaskell in the half-backs.