JONNY Lomax – one of the hottest properties in rugby league – will be a Saints player for at least the next four years, and maybe for the remainder of his career.
The 21-year-old scrum-half came of age in engage Super League XVI, playing 29 games and scoring nine vital tries, and yesterday pledged his immediate future to the club he has supported since a boy.
Lomax, who was forced to pull out of the end of season Four Nations championship after picking up an injury in the Super League Grand Final against Leeds Rhinos in early October, said: “I’m more than happy to be signing a long-term deal with my home-town club.
“There were still two years left on my existing deal, but I was keen to extend it further.”
He went on: “There is real excitement concerning the team and in the town at the present moment, with the new stadium about to open, and we can’t wait to be playing there.
“We have a strong and exciting squad for next season and are hungry for success. It’s going to be special to be part of it.”
Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “At the age of 21, Jonny is already one of the best players in Super League, and is only going to improve further.
“We are proud of the fact that he is yet another product of our Academy system, and has committed himself unconditionally to Saints, Super League and Rugby League for the next four years.”
Mr McManus added: “It is also fitting that Jonny is the first signing at Langtree Park, as he is a future star in our new era.”
Head coach Royce Simmons said: “Jonny is a great young talent and is a pleasure to work with.
“He has already proven himself to be of international calibre, and will grace the England team and St Helens for many years to come.
“Jonny is also one of a number of great young players who have come through the club Academy set-up – all of whom have proven themselves capable of performing at the highest level.”
Lomax, named the Young Player of the Year at the Man of Steel awards night and also chosen as the Reporter Young Player of the Year, made his debut for the injured Paul Wellens at Wakefield in March 2009, and has gone on to make 53 appearance for the club.
He signed from Orrell St James’ ARLC as a youngster.