Adrian Lam has dropped a hint Sean O’Loughlin may play on beyond his 37th birthday as he prepares to welcome his skipper back for the Good Friday derby.
The England loose forward has missed the last three matches with a calf injury and will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness.
And Lam says his influence on the side would be a huge boost as they seek to avoid a ‘double’ defeat by Saints, following their opening day loss.
“It’s massive – he’s been around for along time and I think he is talking about playing another year as well, so he’s really important for us,” said Lam.
“He is the most experienced player in the competition. It’s not only the value he brings the team, but when you look around the dressing room at the start of the game and he’s here as captain, it gives hope to the players around him.
“We’ve got a lot of young players at the moment and they need that senior figure between them.”
O’Loughlin has previously said he would wait until later in the season before deciding whether he would play on in 2020.
“Lockers is a great player, he always has been and he looks forward to playing St Helens - if he’s 50-50 we’ll expect him to play,” said Saints coach Justin Holbrook.
Lam will also make a late decision on prop Ben Flower but welcomes back full-back Zak Hardaker, who pulled out of last Friday’s 30-20 defeat at Wakefield because of a family emergency, and is hoping Joe Greenwood is cleared following concussion protocols.