St Helens half back Theo Fages ruled out for rest of the season
Has Theo Fages played his final game for St Helens after half a dozen years at the club?
That is one of the burning questions being asked by fans after Saints revealed yesterday (Monday) that the 26-year-old Frenchman will be absent for the rest of the 2001 season due to a serious shoulder problem.
During the past few weeks the half back, who has scored 39 tries, four drop goals in 140 appearances at St Helens, has also been linked with other Super League clubs but boss Kristian Woolf is on record saying he wants him to stay.
Whether he leaves or signs a new deal at a club, where he has won both the Grand Final crown and Challenge Cup Final honours, remains to be seen.
Woolf has also shed some light on his injury and paid tribute credit to Fages for his toughness, playing through the pain and scoring a try in the memorable Challenge Cup Final win over Castleford Tigers..
“He picked up a minor shoulder injury in the Wigan game and that forced him to miss the win against Wakefield,” the head coach explained.
“We both were confident that he would play the Challenge Cup final and the rest of the season afterwards, but he suffered a new injury to the same shoulder in the sixth minute of the game at Wembley and it has turned out to be a much more significant injury that first thought.''
He added: “Obviously we had to pull him out after half-time and he has had to have subsequent surgery and unfortunately he will be out for the rest of the season.”
Woolf couldn’t speak highly enough of the Frenchman as he tried to soldier on through the pain.
“You could see with some of his passes that he was suffering and he was trying to get through it but he didn’t want to let anyone down and it shows how tough he is.
“To score a try and do what he did, I can’t speak highly enough of him and what the team means to him.”
It is not known whether the injury will affect Fages’ chances of playing for his country in the World Cup, which is due to start on October 23.
His absence, both in the long and short term, is set to present youngster Lewis Dodd with an extended run in the team as Saints bid for a hat-trick of Super League titles.