Brown: Youngsters must step up

Joe Greenwood in action against Saints
Joe Greenwood in action against Saints

Saints coach Nathan Brown has challenged the club’s talented youngsters to step up to the mark in the absence of a string of established stars.

But he’s confident they are more than up for the task after the likes of Mark Percival, Adam Swift and Joe Greenwood burst onto the scene during last season’s injury nightmare.

Brown said: “Kids like Luke Thompson are definitely putting their name forward. He’s had a couple of games now this year and is doing quite well.

“Matty Dawson seems to be fitting in and doing a good job for us every time he gets an opportunity too. But the challenge for the younger guys is consistency - that’s the big challenge for any young kid.

“With the injuries we’ve got we’re going to need more of them to play and we need them to play well to make sure we win our share of games and maintain a good position in the table.”

He added: “We wouldn’t be where we are with our squad this year if last year didn’t occur. The likes of Adam Swift, Mark Percival and Joe Greenwood got that experience and then came into a pre season this year knowing exactly what was required.

“In two or three years they’re all going to be far better players for that experience. At the moment they’ve all improved a lot on last year and that’s the key - to keep improving.”

Brown also described news that star prop Kyle Amor will only be out for three months with the knee injury he sustained against Leeds as “a big bonus”.

He had feared that Amor would be out for the season after he limped off at Headingley in the 32-12 Challenge Cup defeat. But tests have since shown that the 26-year-old does not need surgery - despite damaging the ligament on the side of his knee.

Brown said: “We thought his season could have been over so three months, as bad as that sounds, is actually a big bonus for us.

“He’ll have some hurdles to overcome before then but, at the moment, the doctors don’t think he needs surgery, which is pleasing. ”

Brown also issued an upbeat assessment on Jordan Turner’s injury. Initially, medics feared he had broken his foot in the same game but scans have since shown that it was just ligament damage.

Brown said the 25-year-old was “coming along well”.

Despite being unlikely to be available for selection against Warrington this Sunday, Turner is expected to be back in the fold soon.

Club medics remain mystified about Anthony Laffranchi’s likely return date however. The veteran Aussie has already been sidelined for several weeks with nerve damage in his arm and Brown admitted “he’s not coming back in the short term”.