Hohaia looking to forge Walsh partnership

St Helens‘ Kiwi utility Lance Hohaia is looking to cement his place in the team in the number six jersey this season, alongside new scrum half Luke Walsh.

Hohaia, 30, has been used in a number of positions in his two years at the club, during which time he has made 50 appearances.

He starred at full-back when New Zealand won the World Cup final against Australia in 2008, but has played at stand-off, scrum-half and hooker for his club, who were hit by a number of injuries last season, and Hohaia almost became a victim of his versatility.

“Last year, Nathan Brown was a bit unsure of where to use me, but I’ve been practicising at stand-off next to Luke Walsh in pre-season,” he told Love Rugby League.

“If need be I can fill in at full-back or hooker, but things are going well in training with our new halves combination.

“I’ve played against Walshy a few times in the NRL and this is the first time I’ve played alongside him.

“He’s a really good player and he’s got the right temperament for a half-back.

“He had a big influence at Penrith and if he played well the whole side played well.

“Things aren’t always going to go the way I want, but I’ve learnt some good lessons over the last few years and I’m still willing to work really hard for the things that I want to achieve.

“I want to play well and play well consistently.

“I know I can still do that and I’m pretty confident about the season ahead.

“I’ve done the utility role and I will continue to do so if asked, but playing and training in one position does make life easier.

Hohaia and Walsh will no doubt benefit from playing behind a fearsome looking pack that Nathan Brown has built for the new season, with Mose Masoe, Kyle Amor and Richard Beaumont all added in pre-season.

Hohaia added: “The last few seasons, as most of our forwards will tell you, it’s been a battle up front, so it can only help to add the guys we have.

“The size and experience they possess will make a difference to our pack and I’m looking forward to playing behind them.

Mose Masoe, for example, showed what he is capable of in the World Cup, against New Zealand, he was a wrecking ball.

“We’ve definitely got the squad to do well this year, especially with the experience the young guys gained last year.

“Luck has a part to play, last year we suffered with a lot of injuries.

“If we can keep the spine of the team together and get the big boys rolling up front then we have a real chance.”

St Helens start their Super League season with a game against Warrington Wolves in front of the SKY Sports cameras on Thursday February 13.

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