Scully: Percival’s gonna be a star

Mark Percival Saints training
Mark Percival Saints training

Saints legend Paul Sculthorpe has tipped young centre Mark Percival to emerge as a Super League star in 2015.

Percival has impressed in the red vee since making his debut against Leeds last year, but Sculthorpe believes the best is yet to come from the 20-year-old.

He also told how Saints’ young players, in particular, would not only benefit from being another year older and wiser - but from the experience of winning trophies in 2014.

He said: “I think the Saints squad looks good for next season.

They had a lot of young players in the squad this year who will all be 12 months older and more experienced.

“They have also now sampled what winning things is all about.

“Players like Greg Richards and Mark Percival - who I think could be a star of Super League next year - will only get better.

“Hopefully Saints will also get a full season out of Luke Walsh - who looks like an outstanding player - and they will have a genuine number six in Travis Burns too.

“Luke will be responsible for bossing the team around the field, which should allow Travis to play a bit more relaxed.

“Travis has a bit of aggression to him too, which I like, and I think they will work well together - they’ve played together in Australia before and will know each other’s games inside out.”

Club captain Paul Wellens, who signed a new one-year deal this week, has also backed Saints’ class of 2015 to be successful.

But he warned that a repeat of this season’s trophy double will only be achieved if the players put in the hard yards again in pre-season training.

He said: “I think we’re looking really strong for next year. Travis Burns looks like a great addition and Atelea Vea will give us some strike in both attack and defence.

“Travis is obviously good friends with Luke Walsh from their Penrith days so they should complement each other really well. Hopefully those two will provide lots of opportunities for our young outside backs.

“Winning two trophies was fantastic this year - especially given the injury problems we suffered, which meant we had a number of key players playing out of position.

“But the important thing for us to do now is to get everyone’s feet back on the ground following our Grand Final success. We won’t win anything unless we re-focus and work hard.”