Saints’ fans are already dubbing exciting new signing Ben Barba as the next Jamie Lyon - the world class centre who set Knowsley Road alight during the 2005/2006 seasons with his try scoring exploits and subtle skills.
Head coach Justin Holbrook is delighted to have the former Cronulla Sharks, Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury Bulldogs ace on board but insists both he and Lyon ‘differed in their styles of play’.
He said: “Jamie was an awesome player and did great things for St Helens in his centre role but Ben can play in the halves as well as is favoured full back position.
“Ben is an obvious talent and a superstar in the game and it’s a massive boost for Super League - and St Helens in particular - to have him playing in the competition in the near future.”
The 27-year-old, who won the Dally M Medal as the NRL Player of the Year in 2012, is currently serving an NRL 12-match ban for failing a drugs test following the Sharks 14-12 Grand Final victory over Melbourne Storm last October but Saints are seeking clarification when Barba, who has signed a deal until the end of the 2019 campaign, can make his debut for the club.