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Cunningham ready to play through pain

30/09/2009 08:01:08 AM Comments (0)

St Helens captain Keiron Cunningham will have a pain-killing injection in his broken hand to enable coach Mick Potter to field a full-strength side in Saturday's Super League play-off semi-final against Wigan.

Centre Matt Gidley and prop forward Tony Puletua have also shaken off injuries and will face Wigan, Potter said on Tuesday.

"If we had have played last week, Keiron and Gids would not have played and Tony Puletua would have been a bit of a worry so the rest has done these guys the world of good," Potter said.

The Australian is expecting big performances on Saturday from long-serving scrum half Sean Long and second rower Lee Gilmour, who will both be making their final appearances at Saints' Knowsley Road ground after agreeing moves to Hull and Huddersfield respectively for next season.

Long has been given permission to sign copies of his autobiography just hours before kick-off.

"His finger's going to be tired, I suppose" said Potter. "It's not going to be too taxing for him. Otherwise he'd either be at home washing the car or drinking a coffee somewhere.

"I'm sure there will be some controversy in the book. He has an interesting history in rugby league, hence the book."

St Helens, who are unbeaten in eight home matches against Wigan, were handed a derby tie after defending champions Leeds opted to play Potter's former club Catalans Dragons in the other semi-final on Friday.

Potter admits he would love to face the Perpignan club in the October 10 showdown at Old Trafford but expects Leeds to secure a record-equalling sixth Grand Final appearance.

"It will be interesting," he said. "Leeds are a very good team but Catalans have got some things they can do to upset them. Whether or not they can back it up again remains to be seen.

"I'd love to see Catalans make the final but, if I was a betting man, I would be betting on the other team."

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