Luke Douglas may not command the newspaper headlines like team-mates Ben Barba and James Roby but he is just as vital a cog in Saints’ well-oiled machine as they set their sights on Super League and Challenge Cup glory.
The Australian-born Scotland international is used mainly as an impact player, having started 18 of his 22 games this season on the substitutes’ bench, but at 32 brings a wealth of experience to a role which head coach Justin Holbrook believes suits his style of play and benefits the team as a whole.
Older guys like me have to deliver all the time because there are talented youngsters in the wings waiting to step into our bootsLuke Douglas
Douglas is just happy to make the match-day squad week-in and week-out such is the red-hot competition for places.
He said: “Older guys like me have to deliver all the time because there are talented youngsters in the wings waiting to step into our boots. It shows the depth of our squad and a great positive for the club going forward and believe me no one can rest on their laurels.”
He is a firm believer in the philosophy of coach Holbrook, who only leaves out players if they are injured and is reluctant to rest any one just to give them a breather.
“I feel the more time you play together combinations grow but if you chop and change things are not as clear,” said the former Cronulla Sharks and Gold Coast Titans front row forward, who is under contract at the Total Wicked Stadium until the end of 2019.
By then - and hopefully at the end of this season - he will be the possessor of one or two pieces of major silverware.
Saints have already clinched top spot in Super League with one match remaining at the end the regular season, face the Catalans Dragons in the semi-final of the Challenge Cup at Bolton a week on Sunday, and are the bookies’ favourite to lift both trophies.
But Douglas is not counting his chickens before they hatch, declaring: “We are not taking anything for granted and all we are thinking about is this week’s home game against Warrington Wolves.”
At the same time he is fully aware of the prestige and world-wide appeal surrounding the Challenge Cup.
“I’m a bit of an RL nerd so I know all about Wembley, what it entails and how big the occasion is. I’d like to play there but, as I say. we’ll only be forcusing on one game at a time just like we have all year.