‘Open book’ Laffranchi staying forever young

Anthony Laffranchi says he is happy mentoring Saints up and coming stars
Anthony Laffranchi says he is happy mentoring Saints up and coming stars

Saints elder statesman Anthony Laffranchi says he’s happy to let young turks Mose Masoe and Alex Walmsley make the hard yards.

The genial Aussie has seen his role alter since the arrivals of man-mountain Masoe and in-form Amor and the emergence of Walmsley as a cornerstone of the Saints front row.

And while he also reluctantly accepts that he’s now the “father figure” of the front row, with only club captain Paul Wellens and Willie Manu are older than the 33-year-old in the Saints squad, he believes Saints new additions will allow him to play his natural game.

He said: “I’m happy to pass the hard act of making the first dent on the line on to big Mose, Kyle and Alex. It lets guys like Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and myself be more mobile around the middle of the field and use Robes to full advantage.

“Unfortunately he hasn’t had the bigger guys to play off the back of during the last couple of years but now we’ve got a formidable forward pack with some big guys.

“The beauty of having some bigger guys in the squad means I can work off the ball more and let them work in my favour. My role’s not changed too much but there are certain minor things I’ve changed to help the team perform better each week.”

Laffranchi also told how the game has changed in his 14 years as a professional, but that the shift to more mobile prop forwards has worked in his favour.

“The front rowers these days are bigger but just as mobile,” he said. “Big Mose’s 130 kilos but he’s fleet-footed.

“I’d like to think my experience can help the pack. A few senior guys helped me out when I was coming through the grades and I’m an open book if guys want to pick my brains.

“I try to learn from them too - they help keep me young - and the likes of Joe Greenwood are really pushing us senior guys.”

“Results have been disappointing in my first two years here, but we want to get that winning feeling back.”