Greg’s hoping for Grand Final repeat

Saints forward 
Greg Richards
Saints forward Greg Richards

Greg Richard may have already experienced that winning feeling in a Grand Final and pulled on a Saints' shirt more than 60 times since making his debut at Castleford in 2013 - but he still doesn't consider he has a divine right to a first team spot.

The down-to-earth Cumbrian, who celebrated his 21st birthday in July, is just one of the club's young guns trying to impress head coach Keiron Cunningham - and recent form suggests he is beginning to deliver the goods.

Until the last month or so he had been used as an impact sub in Super League XX1 but five successive starts in the initial 13, which have coincided with Saints' sudden upturn in form, sends a “leave me out at your peril” message to his boss.

“I've been starting games during the past few weeks, which is something I prefer, and it also shows Keiron has some faith and confidence in my ability,” said talented forward Richard.

“This is definitely making me play better and I can't wait for the next game against Catalans Dragons at Langtree Park on Friday night.”

The former Barrow Island amateur prop forward can't put his finger on why Saints have turned the corner, making them one of the favourites to claim a top four spot at the end of the Super 8s.

“We have not changed anything in training from when we were struggling but it is surprising what a string of good results can do for your self-belief and we are just hoping it continues for the rest of the season.”

He added: “Competition for places among the forwards is red-hot and it certainly keeps you on your toes.

“I'm not taking anything for granted as an individual because there are other young players waiting in the wings to step into your shoes if you have just one bad game.

“You can't afford to suffer a dip in form or you might find yourself out of the team.

“Its creates a lot of pressure but at the same time stimulates healthy competition among the lads.”

Richards is hoping Saints will repeat their 2014 Old Trafford win over arch-rivals Wigan, but insists: “We will be taking one game at a time and treating each as a Grand Final.”