‘Improved massively’ - Hat-trick teen named in St Helens squad for trip to Leigh Leopards

Wesley Bruines has moved a step closer to realising a long-held dream - to pull on the famous Red Vee Saints’ shirt at senior level for the first time.

Coach Paul Wellens has been impressed by the youngster Coach Paul Wellens has been impressed by the youngster
Coach Paul Wellens has been impressed by the youngster

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens has included 19-year-old Wesley Bruines in his 21-man squad for the short trip to Leigh Leopards on Friday - only a few months after he joined the champions following a stint Down Under where he was handed a development contract with South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Whether he makes the final squad this weekend is a matter of conjecture but to rub shoulders with the calibre of his team-mates on game day will act like a shot of adrenaline and more importantly Wellens has spotted his ability.

The boss said: "Wesley is a player with great potential, he has good knowledge of the game and the Super League competition. He has a really impressive work ethic and moving to Australia at a young age just shows how ambitious he is. But there’s a real resilience there as well from him. He’s really got his head down over the last few years and improved massively.

“This is a great opportunity for Wes, and having spoken with him I know it’s one he’s very eager to take. His addition gives our squad added depth and provides further competition for places.”

Bruines said: “I know how hard these opportunities are to come by, but I’ve worked for this my whole life. I think this is a step I’m ready for. And I’m ready to work even harder now for my new teammates and show the coaches what I’m all about."

At the weekend he featured in the Reserves - grabbing a hat-trick in a 72-4 victory over Newcastle Thunder.

Saints 21-man squad: Welsby, Makinson, Percival, Bennison, Lomax, Dodd, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Knowles, Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Passi, Wingfield, Bell, Norman, Davies, Royle, Baxter, Ritson, Bruines.

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