SAINTS traditional Academy Tours to Australia will once again be well represented in the Super League Grand Final with a whole host of players joining the long list of former tourists to play in the showpiece.Previous tour Grand Finalists include Paul Clough, Jonny Lomax and Tommy Makinson.2004 tour – Paul Clough (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) & Scott Moore (2011)2006 tour – Jonny Lomax (2010, 2011), Jamie Foster (2010, 2011), Lee Gaskell (2011), Andrew Dixon (2010, 2011), Gary Wheeler (2011)2009 tour – Tommy Makinson (2011)And Josh Jones (2009), Adam Swift, Mark Percival, Greg Richards and Luke Thompson (2011) are all in line to join that list.Player Performance Manager Neil Kilshaw said: “We pride ourselves on having an Academy system that not only produces a conveyor belt of talent into the first team squad, but that can also perform on the world stage.“We are equally proud of players and tourists like Tom Armstrong who performed so well in the Championship Grand Final.“The Academy Tour is a foundation for that as it prepares players for a professional career. We’d like to wish all the players good luck in the final; we’re sure they will do themselves proud.”
IT doesn’t get much bigger or fiercer than Saints v Warrington.The two rivals lock horns on Thursday March 19 at Langtree Park in an 8pm kick off.And despite their phenomenal record over the Wolves, Saints will be seeking their first win over Warrington at Langtree ParkAll in all Saints have won 39 from 48 matches between the two sides in the Super League era.That will, as it always does, count for nothing come the 8pm kick off though as two big packs rip into each other.Alex Walmsley, Kyle Amor and Mose Masoe will come up against the Wolves’ Ashton Simms, Chris Hill and Anthony England whilst Saints half back Travis Burns will be looking to continue his great start to life at Langtree Park.Saints have a whole host of special entertainment planned for a fixture of this magnitude including a live singer and stilt walkers – courtesy of club partner Pier Fun Casinos – as well as the usual fun and games before the match and at half time.The ODs Designer Clothing Crossbar Challenge will also see two fans aiming to hit the crossbar to win some fantastic prizes.All they have to do is hit the crossbar at the Hatton’s Solicitors West Stand from around 20m out and if they do they will win a £100 ODs voucher!Tickets for this game are selling fast with a bumper crowd expected.To secure yours pop into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, call 01744 455 052 or log on to www.saintssuperstore.comHospitality is also available for the fixture too with an adult package priced at £85 (+VAT) – call 01744 455 053 for further details!It’s Our Team, Our Town, Our Saints
KEIRON Cunningham pulled no punches after his side lost 46-18 at Leeds.“It was probably the worst start in St Helens Rugby League Club history,” he said. “I don’t think I have seen a worst start.“You think we would have learnt a lot of lessons from the last time we played Leeds. We aren’t playing against a poor team, they are world class and if you give them plenty of shots at the line they will score tries… and they scored plenty tonight.“By the time we got some form of exposure we were 22 points down which is not good enough from this side.“I said to the players, the expectancy is high at this club. You aren’t playing at an average club; we would like to think we are world class too and that is just not good enough. If you don’t want to play in big games then you’re at the wrong club as we do want to play in big games.“A lot of senior players let their teammates down today.”He continued: “It was horrendous but believe it or not there was some good defensive stuff in there – but you can’t chase a game. It was like there was a party for first and we didn’t get the invite. We sat there waiting and watching instead of rolling our sleeves up.“This has been on the horizon. We weren’t great at Cas and we were poor for 50 minutes against Widnes – and tonight our start was horrible.“That said, I thought Jon Wilkin was phenomenal and tireless; he led by example but it was a pity 16 blokes didn’t go with him.“As a coach I have to take the brunt of this. As a local boy who is a spectator and an ex player I want to apologise to all the Saints fans who made the journey over here, on a Friday evening, to watch that debacle.”
Derek Traynor’s young side finished second in the Academy Championship following a stellar season.Now they take on the Rhinos (7.30pm) as they seek their third Grand Final appearance in four seasons.Entry on the night is Adult £5 and Junior £2 whilst 2018 Members can go free.The Teams:Saints: 1. Tom Nisbet; 2. Kevin Brown, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Josh Simm, 5. John Hutchings; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Jake Wingfield; 8. Alex Eckley (c), 9. Paul Nash, 10. Callum Hazzard, 11. Chris Follin, 12. Sam Royle, 13. Joe Sharratt. Subs: 14. Ryan Horne, 15. Matthew Foster, 16. Kye Siyani, 17. Christian Kellett.Leeds: 1. Liam Whitton; 2. Ben Markland, 3. Jack Broadbent, 4. Harry Newman, 5. Kiedan Hartley; 6. Harvey Spence, 7. Reece Chapman-Smith; 8. Mikolaj Oledzski, 9. Corey Johnson, 10. Spencer Darley, 11. Alex Sutcliffe, 12. Owen Trout, 13. Loui McConnell. Subs: 14. Harvey Whiteley, 15. Muizz Mustapha, 16. Tom Holroyd, 17. Tyler Dupree.