St Helens agree dual registration deal with Championship club Swinton Lions to benefit youngsters

“I think the dual-registration between the two clubs makes complete sense.”

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens. Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images
St Helens head coach Paul Wellens. Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images
St Helens head coach Paul Wellens. Image: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Defending Super League champions St Helens will link up with Swinton Lions next season.

The dual registration partnership means that Saints players will gain experience playing Championship rugby, while also giving players from the Greater Manchester club a golden opportunity to gain game time with the title holders.

Swinton gained promotion to the Championship in dramatic fashion and will be looking to consolidate their place in the second tier. Both clubs have, in fact, linked up previously with former Saint Nico Rizzelli joining the Lions back in 2021 on loan.

Mike Rush, chief executive at the Totally Wicked Stadium, said: “I think the dual-registration between the two clubs makes complete sense.

“The partnership is a great opportunity for some of our younger lads to get some first team action in the Championship with a good, competitive side, which can only build their experience and hunger to play first team rugby.

“At the same time, it’s a great chance for several of the Swinton players to get some playing time in our set up and specifically in our Reserves, so we’re happy that we can give that opportunity to them next season.”

Saints’ head coach Paul Wellens added: “Throughout the season this partnership with Swinton will allow some of our players to get some valuable minutes in a really strong competition. We will ensure those players that get the opportunity to play, will uphold the high standards we expect of them when representing Swinton.

“Equally we value the importance of the Reserves competition and having the option to potentially call upon Swinton for some of their players at key times in the season as well as give their players some opportunities to play and train with us can only benefit both clubs. We are looking forward to working with them in 2023.”

The Lions’ chief executive Steve Wild, said:  “In agreeing to the dual registration arrangement, not only do we recognise the opportunities for potentially significantly strengthening our player pool for 2023, we also saw it as recognition from extremely knowledgeable people from within the sport as to how far we at Swinton are developing.

"We are now looking forward to working collaboratively with St Helens, which can only help our own ambitions both on and off the field. We have an excellent recent record for helping to develop young players, both through previous dual registration arrangements and our own efforts, and hopefully the St Helens player who turn out for us next  year will grasp the opportunity as a crucial part of their own personal development.”

Swinton boss Allan Coleman commented: “It’s a fabulous opportunity for our club to work closely with St Helens. The Championship is a very tough and competitive competition so we will need to be strong week in and week out and working with  a Super League giants will help us so much in that respect.

“They are currently champions and have been for the last four years, and the calibre of players they have in depth is phenomenal. It also shows how we are progressing as a club when top Super League outfits , such as Saints, want to work with us.”