Wellens signs one-year deal

Paul Wellens has penned a new deal to extend his stay at Saints
Paul Wellens has penned a new deal to extend his stay at Saints

Paul Wellens has penned a new deal to stay at Saints until the end of the 2015 season.

It will be the skipper’s 20th season with his hometown club and means Wellens will lead the champions in their defence of their Super League crown.

The 34-year-old made his first team debut in 1998 and has gone on to become a Saints legend, playing 491 games for the club, scoring 230 tries, 40 goals and one drop goal.

He was recently named as one of the club’s greatest ever players in a poll.

Wellens said: “I’m really looking forward to 2015. With a World Club Challenge to look forward to, the new Super League format and a title to defend it is a very exciting time for the club.

“I’m in the very latter stages of my career and with a good crop of young players coming through my focus is on training hard and competing for a place in the team whilst also using my experience to help these young players develop further.

“This is a challenge I’m looking forward to. I’m also excited to be working with Keiron Cunningham, Jamahl Lolesi and Sean Long.”

Head coach Keiron Cunningham added: “It’s great that Paul has agreed to extend his contract by another season.

“He proved his versatility in our Championship winning season by playing in many positions and performing at a high level.

“His commitment to the club is superb; he is the ultimate professional and that rubs off on all those around him. He is also keen to learn and improve, setting himself challenges to get better.

“His strong and respected relationship with the players is evident by the fact he wants to help improve Jonny Lomax’ game at fullback - the position he plays in.

“That is a fantastic and unselfish example to the young players in the squad.”

During his long service to his beloved Saints, Wellens has won every honour in the game, claiming two World Club Challenges, five Super League titles and five Challenge Cups as well as being part of the team that has secured the League Leaders’ Shield five times.

He has also won the Man of Steel and Harry Sunderland Awards in 2006 and the Lance Todd Trophy in 2007 and 2008.