Makinson aiming for silverware with St Helens before eyeing NRL move

Tommy Makinson
Tommy Makinson
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England winger Tom Makinson has re-iterated his desire to try his hand in the NRL but insists he will first see out his contract with St Helens.

The 27-year-old took his game to new heights in 2018 with a spectacular England debut which ultimately earned him the Golden Boot as international player of the year following the Test series victory over New Zealand.

Makinson revealed at the time his interest in playing in Australia and speculation became rife after he was spotted with Newcastle Knights head coach Nathan Brown, his old Saints boss, during a family holiday in December.

Speaking at St Helens' pre-season media day, Makinson says reports that he was close to agreeing a move to the NRL were wide of the mark, although he says it could happen in 2021.

"It sparked a few rumours," he said. "I've always said it's a bit of a dream to play over there one day.

"But I'm still under contract with Saints for two more years and I don't think they'll let me go, which is fair enough."

Makinson's Golden Boot was ridiculed in some quarters in Australia but the player puts that down to a misunderstanding over the award's new criteria.

"I got a bit of stick in Oz over it," he said. "People dubbed it as being one of the best players ever but I know I'm not in that category.

"It's a new award for international player of the year which I'll take with open arms because I worked a helluva lot last year on my game. I was able to hold my own with some of the best players in the game."

Makinson, who profited from the absence of England's record try-scorer Ryan Hall through injury, says his aim for 2019 is to retain his international jersey and believes there is more to come from him.

"Ryan Hall is still there and there's so many good outside backs nowadays," he said, "It's always going to be hard.

"But I think I'm a good player and I want to prove to everyone how good I am.

"Just having a couple of good years is not acceptable, I want to carry on pushing to become a great player, which I know I can be.

"It was a memorable year in 2018 and a special few months for me but there's a few things to improve on, especially with not winning much at Saints.

"That's the main aim for me this year, to kick on and help this club win things."

St Helens lifted the League Leaders' Shield in 2018 but fell at the semi-final hurdle in both Super League and the Challenge Cup.

With the addition of NRL trio Kevin Naiqama, Lachlan Coote and Joseph Paulo, Justin Holbrook's men are fancied to take home the title in 2019.

"We are always going to be up there challenging but we want to go one step further and start winning things," Makinson said. "We want to bring silverware to this great club."