St Helens announce two vice captains ahead of final pre-season game
St Helens will play their final pre-season game this weekend and it will provide an insight to how their key players are shaping up for the new campaign.
Saints will host Salford Red Devils at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday, two weeks before they kick off their Super League season against the London Broncos.
The game will give us a look how newly crowned captain for Jonny Lomax will handle the pressure of being captain of his boyhood club
The games comes on the back of Paul Wellens appointing two vice captains for skipper Jonny Lomax in star-man Jack Welsby and Morgan Knowles.
Speaking to Love Rugby League, Knowles said: "It’s definitely an honour. Hopefully I can do Wello (Paul Wellens) and the boys justice. I’m pretty proud. I had a private chat with Wello and he said ‘this is what I’m thinking of doing for the leadership group, the captaincy and how I’m structuring it for this year.’ He told me when were out in Cyprus on our pre-season camp."
Speaking about fellow vice captain Jack Welsby, he said: “I think Jack is in it because he’s got a massive influence on the team. As for his leadership he’ll probably admit himself, there’s improvement in him in how he can lead the group better. But as for his influence on the field and everything like that, everyone knows how good he is and the impact he can have on the game and us as a group. I think that’s why he’s in there, Wello trying to get a bit more out of him in that leadership role.”
Knowles came through the Saints youth system making his debut in 2015 and has made 200 appearances for them scoring 28 tries.
Welsby has already made a huge impact on the Saints squad, winning player of the year, and is coming out an off-season which saw him captain the England Rugby League side.
Saints final preseason game will give the opportunity for many senior players to get up to match speed. Their last game came against the Swinton Lions, when a number of young players were handed debuts.
If the youngster get another run out, it is hoped that players like Welsby and Knowles will show them how to adapt in the step-up to the first team.
We will hopefully see cameo appearances from new arrivals Daryl Clarke, from Warrington, and Matt Whitley, from Catalans Dragons. Both men are expected to make significant impacts for Saints, who will be hunting for another league title after a disappointing end to last season.