St Helens favourites to win fifth straight Super League title despite change of head coach
Former St Helens full back and England international Paul Wellens has brought in Laurent Frayssinous as his experienced assistant.
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The Totally Wicked Stadium outfit are quoted as 2/1 favourites to carry on where they left off in 2022 under the new management of former full back and England international Paul Wellens, who will be relishing the challenge of keeping his hometown club at the top of the tree, but it won’t be an easy task as every other club will be desperately keen to topple St Helens from their lofty perch.
It will be another learning curve in the career of the 42-year-old local lad but he will have already stored much needed knowledge in his memory bank following his time as assistant boss to Aussie Kristian Woolf and fellow Antipodean Justin Holbrook and gained added experience, as a player, under the likes of Ellery Hanley, Ian Millward, Daniel Anderson, Mick Potter, Keiron Cunningham, Mike Rush and Nathan Brown and a spell as part of the England set-up.
He has also been shrewd enough to bring someone on board with head coach experience and Laurent Frayssinous - a former Catalans player and coach of the French Super League club - apparently fits the bill.
Wello said: "When I was looking for an assistant, I wanted someone who had head coach experience and Lauren has obviously had that at the Dragons with varying degrees of success. He is passionate about Rugby League and when I first talked to him, I was struck by his passion and wide knowledge of the sport.
"I was also conscious that having been promoted from within myself - and others being in a similar position - it was important I got a fresh pair of eyes in the building to help look after things."
Saints’ main challengers for the coveted title will most likely be Challenge Cup holders Wigan Warriors, who are quoted at 4/1 to be crowned champs.
Catalans are third favourites, with Leeds fourth at 8/1 as Rohan Smith undergoes his first pre-season at Headingley Stadium.
Daryl Powell’s Warrington Wolves, who fell below their normal standard last year are also at odds of 8/1, having finished last season in 11th spot with just nine wins from 27.
Newly-promoted Leigh Leopards are 25/1, the same odds as Salford and better than Hull KR at 50/1.
Grand Final winners odds 2023:
- St Helens 2/1
- Wigan Warriors 4/1
- Catalans Dragons 4/1
- Leeds Rhinos 8/1
- Warrington Wolves 8/1
- Huddersfield Giants10/1
- Castleford Tigers 12/1
- Hull FC 14/1
- Leigh Leopards25/
- Salford Red Devils 25/1
- Hull KR 50/1
- Wakefield Trinity 100/1