Saints' good news has the greater long-term significance. Their coach, Mike McClennan, who was due to return home to Auckland at the end of this, his third full season with the club, has confirmed that he now wants to stay. McClennan, with justification, believes that the side he has assembled at Knowsley Road is too good to leave at present.
Wigan, still favourites to win their sixth Challenge Cup in succession, may have their Great Britain hooker, Martin Dermott, back ahead of schedule for Saturday's second-round tie.
Dermott was thought to be out of the game for months rather than weeks after dislocating his elbow for the second time this season, but he came through a demanding training session yesterday and is strongly in contention.
Andrew Farrar, who missed the win over Bradford on Sunday, will be back after proving he has recovered from his hamstring injury.
Steve Pilgrim, the Wasps and England B full-back banned from rugby union for a year after playing a reserve-team trial at Leeds, is to visit the club for further talks this weekend. Leeds, with expensive redevelopment taking place at Headingley, are more than usually sensitive about their cash flow, but Pilgrim has made sufficient impression for the club to discuss terms.Reuse content