Keiron Cunningham had nothing but praise for his young guns after a stellar display against Widnes.
Saints lost Sunday’s friendly at Langtree Park 20-16, but head coach Cunningham took plenty of positives from the game, particularly the way the squad’s younger member performed.
“It was our first friendly game and we ran with 26 players,” he told Saints’ official website.
“It was never going to be our strongest team for a period of time. I’m not concerned with the result, not at all, more the structures and shapes.
“But I am disappointed with our first 20 minutes and our start. We looked like a team who was into its first friendly and Widnes probably had the jump on us as a result.
“What was pleasing as well was the kids’ performance in the second half. I thought some of them were sensational and Joe Greenwood was probably the best player on the field.
“He’s jumped over three or four people for me now for a spot in the team. Big pressure was on him at the start of pre-season to do the right things.
“His will to win is second to none and you get what you deserve in rugby. If he continues like that he will be looking to deserve a starting spot.
“Jack Ashworth played well too, off the back of a knee reconstruction, and Andre Savelio was brilliant. He’s had his best pre-season for a good few seasons and is in a good frame of mind. He’s dropped around 13 kilos too and is definitely going to be a threat for us this season.”
Cunningham added: “Next week we’ll run with a smaller squad and look to get more game time into the big men.”
Saints’ next friendly is at home to Wigan on Sunday, January 25 (kick off 3pm). Tickets from Langtree Park, by phone on 01744 455 052 or the club’s website.