John Yates: Globe-trotting youngsters are Saints future

Atelea Vea and Joe Greenwood meet a young Saints fan
Atelea Vea and Joe Greenwood meet a young Saints fan
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By now Saints’ young hopefuls will have landed on terra firma after travelling across the globe on a tour of a lifetime.

The potential stars of tomorrow will currently be resting their tired limbs and shaking off jet lag before preparing for a four-match series in Australia against a tough-looking line-up.

The French club have been accepted into the Kingstone Press League 1 next season. They have previous experience of playing in the Co-operative Championship in 2009 to 2011, but having learned a great deal since feel they are much better prepared to give it a second go.

The U19s 25-strong squad, plus a backroom staff which includes chief executive and former youth development officer Mike Rush and long-serving Academy head coach Derek Traynor, face games against West Tigers Cubs on Saturday - a curtain-raiser to the Cook Islands-Tonga World Cup qualifier - Central Coast next Wednesday, Parramatta Eels on Sunday, October 25, and Penrith Panthers on Saturday, October 31.

Not every one of the players will go on to become a first team regular at Super League level but all have at least a chance to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors on the Academy tour which started in 2004.

They include Adam Swift - Saints leading scorer in 2015 with 22 tries in 35 outings - fellow winger Tommy Makinson, Jonny Lomax, Josh Jones, Joe Greenwood, Mark Percival, Andre Savelio, Greg Richard and Luke Thompson.

Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “The tours have become the foundation and a tradition of the Academy and the players themselves have represented the club with success, distinction and honour.”

Good news for those who preach the need for our sport to spread its wings ... Toulouse Olympique are back in the rugby league fold.

The French club have been accepted into the Kingstone Press League 1 next season.

They have previous experience of playing in the Co-operative Championship in 2009 to 2011, but having learned a great deal since feel they are much better prepared to give it a second go.

Maybe one day they will be good enough to establish themselves as a Super League side and play alongside their compatriots, the Catalans Dragons.

The rugby posts at Langtree Park will be replaced by goal nets during the next few weeks as Liverpool U21s take over the stadium for a couple of tasty fixtures.

Anglo-Scottish rivals will be renewed when the Reds entertain Celtic on Wednesday, October 28, kick-off 7pm, and this will be followed by a game against Southampton on Sunday, November 1, kick-off 2pm.