New season countdown: Jack Welsby hoping to kick on in 2021

He is the teenager who provided the craziest of finishes to the craziest of years.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 10:25 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 10:26 am
Jack Welsby with captain James Roby after Grand Final glory. Picture: SWPix

And now, Jack Welsby is determined to ensure the defining moment of 2020 does not become the defining moment of his career.

Still only 19, he is refusing to dine out on his dramatic match-winning try which handed St Helens an epic 8-4 Grand Final win against his hometown club, Wigan, last November.

“I’m hoping it’s only the start for me,” he said. “I want to kick on for 2021 now.

“It’s always going to be a good memory but I want it to be just one the highlights of my highlights reel when I’m done.”

The Covid-enforced lockdown has meant he has not had many fans in St Helens - or, indeed, his hometown Wigan - stop him and talk about the try.

But he has still been reminded about it through comments at training and clips posted on social media as well as at home.

“It seems every time I come downstairs my mum and dad are sat on the couch watching it on TV,” smiled Welsby, who lives at home in Shevington with mum, Jen, and dad, Ste.

“Ever since I was a kid, my mum has recorded my games. She’s probably more of a rugby nerd than me.

“And if I go on Twitter, it’s hard to avoid it... I must admit I’ll always click on it when it pops up.

“It was such a big moment and I think the game deserved it, how intense it was.

“One regret is it wasn’t in front of fans... but then, at Old Trafford it might not have been a try with the short in-goals!”

Saints coach Kristian Woolf believes his squad is stronger on paper than in 2020.

And the addition of NRL pair Joel Thompson and Sione Mata’utia suggests he may be right.

Indeed, it speaks volumes of their depth that the player who won them a Grand Final last year is not guaranteed a regular position for this year.

“Being versatile has been handy for me; I can play anywhere in the backline comfortably and confidently,” said Welsby.

“My main aim is to just play as many games as possible, especially the big games.

“Now I’ve had a taste of winning a Grand Final, I want more silverware.

“I think this is going to be one of the most competitive seasons we’ve had.”