Sia Soliola WILL leave Saints at the end of the season, the Reporter can confirm, ending months of uncertainty about the popular player’s future.
The Kiwi ace has revealed he will head back Down Under at the end of the 2014 campaign, with his former club Sydney Roosters among those interested in bidding for the powerhouse second rower.
However, in typical Soliola fashion, he has insisted he will continue to give everything to the Saints cause, vowing: “If you opened up my chest you’d find a Red Vee inside.”
The 27-year-old’s future had been shrouded in mystery earlier this year after Saints coach Nathan Brown let slip that he had expressed a desire to leave for “family reasons”.
Soliola admitted that a return to the NRL was now on the cards - but told of his determination to win silverware with Saints before he leaves.
He said: “I’ve expressed to the club that I’m looking at going home. There was a little bit of confusion earlier in the year because I didn’t quite know where I stood at that time.
“Nothing’s sorted out back home yet but, if anything, I’m even more determined to leave Saints on a high. This is such a professional, well-run club with a lot of history - the only thing we haven’t done in recent years is win anything.
“It would mean everything to me to win something with Saints this year. The people here are great - I’ve made a lot of friends that I’ll hope to keep in the future.
“There’s a lot of things I’ll miss about St Helens - that’s what made my decision so difficult. I can’t fault this club.”
Soliola, who, like Saints skipper Paul Wellens, has been deployed in a number of different positions this year, has been a model of consistency since making his Saints debut back in 2010.
And he told of the players’ determination to keep up the momentum in Super League and finish top of the pile - especially as they are no longer in the Challenge Cup.
He also backed his club and international teammate, man-mountain prop Mose Masoe, to keep up his impressive recent form.
He said: “People forget that Mose has had two big things to come to terms with - moving to a different country and a big ankle injury. He had a really good World Cup campaign but it was always going to take him a bit of time to adapt.
“The scary thing is that he can still get even better and I know how much other people hate playing against him. I’d rather have him on my team - that’s for sure!”