St Helens forward Alex Walmsley has been awarded a testimonial year by the RFL for the 2022 season.
Walmsley heads into his 10th season with the club, having signed from Championship side Batley ahead of the 2013 season.
The England international made an instant impression at Saints, making 26 appearances for Nathan Brown’s side in his first year.
The 31-year-old picked up his first Super League winners ring in 2014. He played in the final where Saints beat Wigan 14-6 at Old Trafford.
The next year saw Walmsley go up another level, making 4,000 metres over the course of the season. He was nominated for the Man of Steel award- though he lost out to Zak Hardaker.
He continued to impress over the years and forced himself into the England setup. Walmsley was part of the squad that went to the 2017 World Cup. He scored a try in their group match against Papua New Guinea.
A neck fracture ruled him out for most of 2018. But he came back and was an important part of the side that has won three straight Super League titles.
Walmsley honoured to have been awarded a testimonial
Speaking to the Saints website, Walmsley said: “I’m honoured to have been awarded a testimonial year at St Helens. Ever since I pulled on the famous Red Vee back 2012, I knew this was my home.
“The past nine years have truly been memorable and it doesn’t get much better than winning three Grand Finals in a row and a Challenge Cup. It’s what dreams are made of.
“The news that the Club and the RFL have granted me a Testimonial Year is the icing on the cake and I am excited for the year ahead in 2022.”
Saints Chief Executive Mike Rush added: “Alex has been a terrific servant for our club and he thoroughly deserves his Testimonial year.
“Both on and off the pitch Alex is a true professional and his performances on the field have been world class for a number of years.
“He is without doubt, the best prop in Super League. Alex had a rapid rise to the top since we signed him from the Championship and year on year he has got better and better.
“He is an example of someone who has worked hard, through the lower leagues and progressed onto International honours.”