Justin Holbrook said he is really enjoying his time in England so far and is very proud to have seven of his players in the 2018 Super League Dream Team.
In his first full season as head coach of Saints, Holbrook has guided the team to a League Leaders’ Shield and Challenge Cup semi-final, as well as a Super League semi-final which will be played against Warrington Wolves on Thursday.
As a result of Saints’ impressive campaign, seven players were named in the 2018 Super League Dream Team – James Roby, Luke Thompson, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Danny Richardson, Jonny Lomax and Ben Barba.
“It’s been great so far and the big games are ahead and a great semi-final against Warrington this Thursday,” Holbrook told loverugbyleague.com.
“I have loved every minute of it since I got here last year. It’s been a different season this year, we had to win every game to make the semis last season and we fought all of the way but this year, we’ve sat first from round one and we have gone about it a bit smarter and it’s been great.
“I think it is fantastic to have seven players in the Dream Team. I’m proud as a coach because I see how hard the players work. There are so many good players in this competition so to get seven in is great recognition for themselves individually and us as a club.
“It is a tremendous achievement but in the end, we’ve got to pull together, it is a team sport and on Thursday we have got to make it happen but I’m really proud of the guys.”
St Helens are favourites to lift win the Super League Grand Final due to their dominant form in the league, but Holbrook played down talk of the pressure being on them more than other teams.
He added: “I think there’s pressure on everyone really.
“There is pressure to get to the Grand Final and it is good that there is pressure because if there wasn’t then we wouldn’t play. We finished first so we are expected to win, I expect us to win but we’ve got to play well, otherwise we won’t win. There is pressure on every team and I’m fine with that.
“We have managed the last few weeks really well. We’ve been in a good position so we’ve been able to rest guys with niggling injuries and get ourselves right and I think we’ve done it right and got them firing at the right end of the season.”