Cunningham: We will be better

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham believes his side will be a tougher proposition for opponents in 2017 thanks to the quality of his new signings.

St Helens have been busy in the transfer market, bringing in Luke Douglas and Ryan Morgan from the NRL, along with Matty Smith, Tommy Lee and Adam Walker.

“I thought with bringing a new halfback pairing in, bringing a new nine in the dynamics of the side have changed a little bit,” Cunningham said.

“The boys have just adapted exceptionally well and look like they’ve played together forever.

“It’s good for me because I’m doing that without Percival, Lomax, Walker, Douglas, Makinson and Swift.”

Cunningham admitted he was pretty happy with the players that had already arrived.

“You look at what Matty [Smith] bring and what Tommy Lee and Luke Douglas do,” he said.

“Just those three alone with leadership qualities are going to make you better.”

When asked about the possibility of bringing in more faces, Cunningham refused to rule anything out.

“You never say never,” he said.

“There isn’t much money to bring anything massive in but you have got to leave a tiny little of jiggle room.

“If something pops up that’s going to be better quality than what you’ve got then I think you’re always on the look.”

Two seasons after taking up the job, Cunningham suggested this was now his ideal team.

Saints have made the semi-finals during the past two seasons under Cunningham’s stewardship, losing out to Leeds and Warrington.

“We’ve had a real good shake up during the year,” he said.

“We had a fairly big turnaround of players moving out but a lot of that was due to what those players were doing themselves.

“I believe this is probably my true team now with the players that have come in.”

After coming close to achieving success during the last couple of years, Cunningham stressed he wanted to go one better this time round.

“We don’t want to be that nearly side this year,” he said.

“We don’t want to leave no stone unturned.

“I’m excited every pre-season but this one has got a bit of a special shine about it I feel.”






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