St Helens receive government approval for £25m stadium

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The Independent Online

St Helens have taken a big stride closer to getting their new stadium in the town. The Government has approved planning permission for a £25m, 18,000 capacity ground on a former glassworks site near the town centre, without calling the scheme in for an inquiry. "This is excellent news for the club and its supporters... and another important hurdle out of the way," Saints' chairman, Eamonn McManus, said. The club now hope to be in their new home for the start of the 2011 season, with their historic home at Knowsley Road redeveloped for housing.

Wakefield have resigned themselves to being without two regulars for their Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull in a fortnight. On the eve of today's Super League dress rehearsal for the two clubs, the Wildcats' coach, John Kear, revealed that Adam Watene has fractured an eye socket. He has been definitely ruled out of the semi, while Ryan Atkins is rated extremely doubtful with the knee ligament injury he picked up in the defeat by Warrington in Wakefield's last game.

Better news for Wakefield is that Brett Ferres, Paul Reilly and Dale Ferguson all came safely through their returns to action last week and are included in today's squad.

Hull, nine points adrift of the play-off places, have little left to play for, but at least their injury picture has brightened a little, with Garreth Carvell, Willie Manu and Matt Sing all passed fit for the trip to Belle Vue.

Later today, the Catalan Dragons try to keep in close touch with the top of the table when they entertain Harlequins. The Dragons, who added Dimitri Pelo this week to the list of players committed to staying with them, are full of confidence, but face a Quins side which looks much more balanced than the one which was swept aside by an inspired St Helens last week.

In tomorrow's only Super League match, the Wigan coach, Brian Noble, has hinted that he might give the new arrival from Australia, Tim Smith, a debut at Hull KR, but it is equally likely that he will hold him back for a week or two.