Justin Holbrook lauds St Helens trio after thrashing Catalans

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook praised young trio Jack Welsby, Aaron Smith and Matty Costello after their big win over Catalans. 

The Saints battered the Dragons 50-14 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Holbrook made seven changes to his side and gave a number of young players an opportunity, but was impressed with three in particular.

Speaking after the game, he said: “We made some changes, we gave some of the younger boys an opportunity and we were confident everyone would play well and they did.

“All the young boys did great. Jack Welsby at full-back was great, Matty Costello scored a hat-trick at centre and Aaron Smith was one of our best but all the players did well today, which was great.

“Jack is an exciting young player and it was great give him a start. He is still young coming through but he is a first-team player in the future, that’s for sure. He did a great job at full-back.

“I knew before the season started how great of a young player Aaron was. I knew he would get some games this year and he showed today why he deserves his shot.

“Our academy has done a great job at bringing some young guys through and we obviously got to see a few of them in action today. It is great for our club.”

France international Theo Fages made a return to action after a couple of weeks out with a hip injury, and he built up a good combination in the halves with Danny Richardson.

Holbrook added: “I thought Danny has played well over the last few weeks, as has everybody.

“It was great to have Theo back. He started the season so well for us and it was good to have him back out there, which gave us the luxury of resting Jonny [Lomax].

“It gives me a selection headache now, which is a good thing. The guys showed they really want to be in the side and that’s the most pleasing thing as a coach.

“We don’t just have 17 players, we’ve got a full squad and everybody wants to be part of it and that’s great for us. I think we had eight of our best players out today, so to get a win like that makes me very happy.”

Holbrook confirmed that prop Luke Thompson is facing six weeks on the sidelines after suffering a high ankle sprain.

Centre Mark Percival (hamstring) and utility-forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (knee) also face up to six weeks out.

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