Yates' view: Coaching position is key business of 2019 for Saints chairman

Justin Holbrook. Picture: SWPix
Justin Holbrook. Picture: SWPix
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Chairman Eamonn McManus is hoping to shortly make what many fans believe will be his most important piece of business in 2019 - persuading head coach Justin Holbrook to extend his stay at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Since arriving at St Helens in May 2017, the Australian, whose current contract expires at the end of the season, can boast a highly impressive match-by-match record.

He has been at the helm for 66 league and cup games, winning 52 and losing only 14 and Eamonn will move heaven and earth in a bid to ensure the 43-year-old stays.

Serious talks about a new deal are set to take place sooner rather than later and while I've no inside information, I feel he will sign on the dotted line - even though, with a young family, he will want to return home one day and test himself as a head coach in the NRL.

McManus has already acknowledged that fact and while Saints' only piece of silverware during Holbrook's reign is the League Leaders' Shield, there's high hopes of completing a league and cup double this year and beyond.

That's why an early decision on Holbrook's future needs to be quickly addressed

Huddersfield Giants have suffered a major blow ahead of Sunday's Coral Challenge Cup sixth round tie against St Helens at the John Smith's Stadium - skipper Michael Lawrence having been handed a one-match ban by the RL Disciplinary Panel.

The back-row forward accepted a penalty notice for a grade B offence of dangerous contact during the Giants’ 26-25 Betfred Super League defeat by Wakefield last Friday.

The 29-year-old has made more than 200 appearances for the Claret and Gold during his 11-year career with the club and his influence and know-how will be missed against the Challenge Cup favourites.

Neither will half back Lee Gaskell be included in the squad if not 100 per cent fit following a health scare, but two of his former Saints' team-mates, Jordan Turner and Paul Clough, will be vying for a spot.

Altough I've seen nothing in the public domain, I hope the Rugby Football League have written to Prince Harry and Meghan on the birth of their son.

Harry is, after all, the patron of the Rugby League, having taken over the role from the Queen, and it would be remiss not to official congratulate the couple.