Bring on the Roosters

SAINTS will be hoping to emulate the success of two years ago when they face Australian Rugby League champions Sydney Roosters next month.

And Ian Millward's men – who must first take on Rugby Union high-flyers Sale Sharks in next Monday's cross code challenge – are taking their preparations very seriously.

The squad are currently slogging it out in sunny Lanzarote, a favourite training haunt for the Knowsley Road side.

And Sean Long, who endured a torrid season of injuries, insisted the trip was not an opportunity for the players to lounge in the sun.

He said: "We have come away to Lanzarote to prepare in the best possible conditions for two huge games – not just for Saints, but also for British Rugby League. We are taking both of these games very seriously."

Saints arrived on the tropical island last Thursday and will train twice a day before returning later this week.

Paul Sculthorpe, last season's Man of Steel and North West Sports Personality of the Year, said: "We are really being pushed to the limit and that is the area that all true professional sportsmen want to reach.

"All true professional sportsmen hate losing at anything and so we are becoming very focused on the Cross-Code Challenge and the World Club Challenge."

Head coach Ian Millward added: "The Lanzarote trip is designed to be a punishing training trip – it is certainly no holiday.

"We know that we are playing for British Rugby League in the Cross-Code Challenge and the World Club Challenge and that brings with it a lot of pressure.

"However, Saints players thrive in those conditions, as do our fans, and, with our fans' help, we can ensure two more great nights for British Rugby league in the next few weeks."

Meanwhile, Keiron Cunningham, who will miss the match through an elbow injury, says his team-mates will be relishing the challenge.

The hooker, who has been coveted by several Rugby Union clubs, insisted: "The lads will be ready to go for it in this Sale game.

"They will have a weekend's union training on return from Lanzarote. I just wish I was out there as I would like to show Rugby Union what they missed and why I stayed in league. That said, I'll be in the crowd getting behind the Saints along with our other supporters."

Saints travelled to Lanzarote prior to their World Club Challenge victory over Brisbane Broncos in 2001.

Tickets are now available for the Saints v Sale game from the Saints Ticket Office, Safeway St Helens and online at

lAN old-time Rugby League star who was the first St Helens-born player to captain a Challenge Cup winning side has died suddenly, aged 79, writes Denis Whittle.

Eric Frodsham, of Arnian Road, Rainford, collapsed at home on Sunday just minutes after collecting his morning newspaper. He leaves his widow Doris, daughters Linda, Susan and Julie and five grandchildren.

Born in Pigot Street, Queens Park, on Valentine's Day, 1923, Eric was the youngest of five rugby-playing brothers, the others being Alf, Henry, Stan and Arthur.

Popularly known as 'Froddy', Eric signed for Saints in 1947 after serving in the Royal Navy during the second world war.

He was transferred to Warrington in 1948 and went on to make 226 appearances for the 'Wires'. Probably the most memorable of these was the Challenge Cup Final replay at Odsal Stadium, Bradford, in 1954.

Then, while deputising for injured captain Albert Naughton, Frodsham lifted the Challenge Cup when Warrington defeated Halifax 7-3.

Capped by Lancashire, Eric also appeared in three Championship and one Lancashire Cup Final before a serious wrist injury ended his Rugby League career in 1955.

Eric then entered the licensing trade at the Railway Hotel, Earlestown, and the Red Cat, in Crank. He also owned two newsagencies in Sutton. A funeral service will be held at Rainford Parish Church tomorrow (Thursday) at 2.30pm.