Yates' view: Saints' youngsters are in a class of their own

Jack Welsby. Picture: SWPix
Jack Welsby. Picture: SWPix

Former BBC TV soccer analyst Alan Hansen once infamously declared: ''You'll win nothing with kids.''


He was referring to Alex Ferguson's first team fledgling at Manchester United who then went on to dominate the newly-created English Premiership for more years than their rivals could stomach and the ex-Liverpool captain was left with egg all over his face.

In the Rugby League world, St Helens could find themselves heading along a similar path to success if they continue to unearth the raw young talent currently at their disposal - most of whom were impressive during the victory over Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium last night (Thursday).

Jack Welsby (18), Matty Costello and Matty Lees (both 21), Regan Grace, Danny Richardson, Aaron Smith and James Bentley (all 22 ), Luke Thompson and Jack Ashworth (both 24) all featured at some stage in the game and had 22-year-old Morgan Knowles not been on the injured list he would more than likely have been in the first 13.

Welsby - the youngest player on duty for Saints - is more than likely to give way to Lachlan Coote at Wembley if, as expected, the Aussie recovers from a knee injury but staked his own claim for a place in the final squad by being named man of the match in the 30-12 win at Warrington.

Neither would head coach Justin Holbrook be apprehensive if he tossed the teenage full back into the fray to replace Coote who has now being sidelined for several weeks.

''We've thrown him in a number of times this year but we will be pushing to have Coote back for Wermbley. He is still on track with his recovery but if we had to play Jack, then we would have no issues.

''He has had a few games with us now (10 to be exact) and he is getting better every week. He is a good player to coach because he is a good listener. He has improved each time he has played and he was terrific for us against Warrington.

“It was excellent for a young player like that to make that tackle [on Ben Murdoch-Masila]and that is the type of area he has been working on.

“He has probably been doing too much in his first few games like carrying the ball like a front-rower!

''I told him that he can do it in academy but it is not needed here. He has made lots of little changes in his game so I’m happy for him to play so well tonight.”

Ironically, it is likely that most of youngsters won't be given a chance to parade their skills in the world's most famous sporting arena as Holbrook will turn to his more experienced players on the day

Warrington also fielded several inexperienced youngsters in a much changed squad but gave a hint that, like Saints, they have a great deal of natural talent waiting in the wings to ensure the club's future is in safe hands.