Saints snap up young forward James Bentley

James Bentley in action for Bradford this season against Rochdale
James Bentley in action for Bradford this season against Rochdale

Saints have beaten several other interested clubs to sign exciting back rower James Bentley from Bradford Bulls on a three-year deal.

Dubbed the best player in the Championship “by an absolute mile” by former Saints’ star Leon Pryce, 19-year-old Bentley made his debut for the Bulls against Oldham last season.

He’s gone on to score 15 tries in 23 appearances and has been one of the Bulls’ standout performers.

“James is a quality young player and we are pleased to bring him to the club,” said Saints’ head coach Justin Holbrook.

“He’s powerful, strong and is consistent in his performances week in week out.

“He knows he has a lot of improvement in him, too, and he’s looking forward to developing in our system.”

Bentley played for Oulton Raiders before progressing through Bradford Bulls’ Academy ranks.

He said: “I can’t wait to get over there and get started. It was a big decision to leave, an emotional one as well but I am looking forward to be playing at the top level. It is a decision I’ve made to further my career.

“I’m expecting the step up to be hard, it’s going to be a lot faster and a lot tougher but I am looking forward to and going head first into the challenge.

“I can’t wait to get over there; some of the players that they have like Ben Barba and Jon Wilkin, are just great players. I can learn from them and become a better player.

“I’m committed to the Bulls for the rest of the season I want to finish with my time here on a high.”