ST Helens Women's head of rugby Craig Richards believes Lindsay Anfield is the biggest threat York City Knights Ladies possess.

The pair know each other well from their ongoing time in the England Women's set-up, and Richards is well aware of what the Knights' new director of rugby brings to the table.

Like York, Saints are also looking to win their first-ever Women's Challenge Cup, but are prepared for the Knights to present a significant obstacle.

"I think the main threat is Lindsay, her coaching levels and her skill, as I find out all the time at England," Richards commented.

"I think she's done a fantastic job in a difficult situation to pull together a really good team who are playing a basic brand of rugby league but doing it really well.

"In terms of players, the threat's got to come from Rhiannion (Marshall).

"You're seeing that Savannah Andrade is going really well in the centres. In the other semi-final, she was one of the big differences along with players like Tamzin Renouf.

"Tactically, Lindsay's getting it all right at the moment."

Between York and Saints' named 19-woman squad for the final, there are 12 players who featured in England's 23-player squad for the 2019 tour of Papua New Guinea.

Leah Burke, Chantelle Crowl, Jodie Cunningham, Faye Gaskin, Tara Jones, Emily Rudge and Naomi Williams all belong to Saints, with York supplying a further five in Grace Field, Kelsey Gentles, Marshall, Sinead Peach and Renouf.

Having them under the tutelage of Anfield can only be a good thing for England, Richards believes.

"Whether we talk about England, whether we talk about Women's Super League, it's about getting the best players on the park and getting the best competition possible, and to do that you've got to get the best coaches," he said.

"For me, knowing that Lindsay's out there coaching a side and knowing that side would be coached at a high level, I was pleased from that point of view.

"I also know that any of the England hopefuls in the York side will fully understand the standards we expect at England and therefore either put pressure on the current crop or make sure the ones that come through are at the correct levels."

Saints head coach Dec Hardman has named an unchanged squad from that which helped his team to a 20-12 win over Leeds Rhinos.

Confident but not over-confident, is Richards' assessment of Saints' feeling going into the final.

"Everybody recognises that we've got a big barrier in front of us in York," he said.

"It's not a given. It's a really tough game ahead of us and they've got to be at their best to win.

"It's a one-off game, and that's the beauty of the Challenge Cup - if you're not at your best, you get turned over."

On coming up against his England colleague, Richards joked warmly: "Hopefully I'll be sat back with a coffee in my hand watching Saints win - but not by too much because I don't need a deflated Lindsay Anfield in the next England session.

"The three of us get on really well. I always wish Lindsay the best - apart from Saturday. I'm just looking forward to the game itself."

St Helens squad: Cunningham, Rotherham, Williams, Hardcastle, Burke, Gaskin, Whitfield, Jones, Birchall, E Rudge, Crowl, Stott, Akrigg, Travis, Roberts, Bush, Woosey, Sandham, I Rudge.