Yates' view: Tough decision lies ahead for Tommy

Tommy Makinson
Tommy Makinson
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Ambition or deep-seated loyalty? That's the dilemma which will face jet-heeled winger Tommy Makinson once his current contract at St Helens expires.

The 27-year-old, whose profile rocketed after his performances in an England shirt against New Zealand at the end of last year and earned him the coveted Golden Boot award, is now on the NRL radar and doesn't deny he would relish the chance of finishing his career Down Under.

There are one or two Australian clubs, included Newcastle Knights who are coached by ex-Saints' boss Nathan Brown, keeping a close eye on where his long-term future lies.

Tommy himself insists he his committed to Saints for the next two years but will then need to decide if his allegiance to the club, where he has made 199 appearance and scored 108 tries and the same number of goals, carries greater weight than a desire to pit his skills against players in arguably the best league in the world.

I know he his eternally grateful to Saints for the way they looked after his welfare in 2015 and 2016 when he suffered two serious injuries - one which threatened to end his career - and that will be a key issue in what lies ahead.

The funeral of former South Lancashire Newspapers employee, Denis Whittle, will take place at Lowe House RC Church, North Road, St Helens, on Monday, January 28, at noon.

Denis, who died recently at the age of 85, worked for many years in the composing room at the Reporter Offices, College Street, and then towards the end of his career joined the St Helens Star as a sports reporter, covering Saints' matches home and away and using a vast nowledge of his home-town club to the benefit of his many readers