Wello - This is the strongest we’ve been for years

Paul Wellens reckons Saints current squad may be the strongest for several years
Paul Wellens reckons Saints current squad may be the strongest for several years

Club captain Paul Wellens has hailed Saints’ class of 2014 as “the strongest squad we’ve had in years”.

But he warned that names on paper count for nothing without a never say die attitude where it really matters - out on the pitch.

He said: “The squad looks very strong following great recruitment by the club. It’s probably the strongest squad we’ve had in a good number of years. There’s plenty to be excited about.

“But all the players have got to put in the hard work to give ourselves the best chance of maximising that potential.

“Luke Walsh is someone who organises a team really well - he’s played half back all his life. He will also free up a lot of players which will certainly help us.

“Matty Dawson is young, enthusiastic and desperate for an opportunity to do well and Kyle Amor and Richard Beaumont will add some strength and size to our pack. They’re both young lads in their mid 20s so they should be coming into their prime.

“It’s quite clear that Mose’s going to add some size to our pack too. Everyone saw in the World Cup with Samoa the way he plays the game - that excites people.”

Wellens, 33, who switched from full back last season after the emergence of Jonny Lomax, reckons the added competition for places can only help Saints get back among the silverware.

“Every successful side I’ve played in has had competition for places,” he said. “It keeps people on their toes and makes you know that once you get that shirt you have to perform or someone else will take it from you.

“We understand there are plenty of very good teams out there. We’re not only going to have to perform well, we’re going to have to perform well consistently.

“That’s been a big issue for us in recent seasons - we’ve sometimes beaten the big sides but not performed at the top level often enough. We’re going to have to do that this year.”

And he reckons the tough away day against Warrington on the first weekend of the season will provide the perfect early-season test for the new Saints side.

He added: “It’s a game we’re all really looking forward to. We have a lot of respect for Warrington - they’re a fantastic side - but we love playing at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

“It will be an extremely tough game but there’s no better place to start.”