Lewis Dodd the latest Saints youngster learning his trade
Quite a number of Betfred Super League clubs have had their fair share of injuries so far this season, giving head coaches the chance to blood some of their talented youngsters and experience sport at the top level.
Table-toppers Saints fall into this category and already catching head coach Kristian Woolf's eye is 19-year-old Lewis Dodd, who emerged from the bench at Huddersfield last Thursday to set up a well worked try for Jonny Lomax as Saints extended their unbeaten winning run in the league to four games.
Woolf, who has an impressive group of young players under his wings, said of Dodd: ''I was very happy with his performance and when he came on as a substitute he added spark to our game, showing speed around the ruck area and backing himself.
'The idea is to get him more experience in Super League, whether in the halves or at hooker. He is growing in confidence every time he plays and that's all we can ask from him at this early stage of his career.''
Like Dodd, Adam Swift came through the junior ranks at the Totally Wicked Stadium without being able to permanently dislodge first choice wingers Tommy Makinson and Regan Grace but despite a slow start to his career at Hull FC last year he is now pulling up a few trees.
The former St Helens winger was restricted to just five appearances in his first 12 months at the Humberside club, but was handed a clean sheet by new boss Brett Hodgson and has not missed a league game this year.
“Last season was one I wouldn’t look back on in any kind of positive terms,” Swift told the Daily Mirror.
“Making my debut in the Hull KR derby was good, but there were some average performances from myself and I found it difficult to find any form.
“But that’s dead and buried now. Brett coming in was sort of a fresh start and put everyone on a level playing field.
“I wanted to have a good pre-season and prove I’m still the player that I was when I was in form at St Helens.
''I think I’ve done that up to now. I was fortunate enough to get a starting shirt and it’s up to me now to keep my standards high and keep hold of it.”
Swift scored 86 tries in 130 games for St Helens and was a member of their 2014 Grand Final winning side against Wigan Warriors.