St Helens have rewarded highly-rated forward George Delaney with a new three-year deal as Paul Wellens believes the prop should be nominated for Super League Young Player of the Year.
The rising young forward made his debut against Castleford last season but has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign this year with 13 appearances in 2023.
Delaney, 19, started the season on loan with Championship outfit Swinton Lions, featuring six times under Widnes-bound Allan Coleman before receiving his first chance in Saints’ first-team against Wakefield at the end of March.
He has featured in the last five Super League fixtures for St Helens, and is being asked to step up following season-ending injuries to fellow forwards Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi.
Delaney has been one of the stand-out young performers in Super League, catching the attention of many and earning himself a long-term future at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Asked if he should be nominated for Super League’s Young Player of the Year Award, Wellens told Love Rugby League: “Without a doubt.
“We’re always blessed with young players in Super League, but to do what he’s doing as a 19-year-old kid and given the position that he plays and not just that but the impact that he’s having on games. He’s going out there and being difficult to handle, making tackles and working hard for his team-mates.
“He’s had a huge impact for someone at such young age and we hope he continues to work hard and develop as a player because quite clearly the raw ingredients are there for him to go and be a very, very good player.”
Wellens continued on the new deal: “I’m delighted for George, he has obviously made very quick progression since he was given an opportunity in the first team this year.
“But first and foremost he’s a wonderful person, a great kid to work with, and he’s very eager to learn and very eager improve. So we are delighted as a club that George has decided to commit his future to us, and we’re really looking forward to working with him and watching his improvement as the years go by.”
George Delaney on new three-year St Helens deal
Delaney joined the club at the age of 15 from Halton Farnworth Hornets and has progressed through the club’s ranks, named the Under-18s Player of the Year in 2022.
On his new deal, he commented: “I’m feeling great. It’s just what I wanted, to extend with this club with the history it’s got and the success we’ve had, I’m hoping to be part of that with the three years I’ve signed and build as a player really.
“It’s exciting to work with the players we’ve got, we have world-class players, especially in my position, where I can pick up little things every day and keep working on my game and hopefully get some success out of it.”
His new contract will see him remain at the Totally Wicked Stadium until the end of 2026.