Konrad Hurrell provides update on St Helens future and drops hint on plans

Ross Heppenstall
Konrad Hurrell St Helens Alamy

Konrad Hurrell clapping the St Helens fans

Konrad Hurrell has spoken of his desire to stay at St Helens beyond this season, admitting: “I love it here.”

The blockbusting Tongan centre has proved a hugely popular figure since joining Saints from Leeds Rhinos ahead of the 2022 campaign on an initial one-year deal.

He helped the club to win the Super League title that year before scoring in the famous World Club Challenge victory over Penrith Panthers last season.

Last June, Hurrell extended his contract with Paul Wellens’ side until the end of the 2024 campaign with an option for 2025 in the club’s favour.

It remains to be seen if that option will be activated but the 32-year-old boosted his chances with an outstanding performance in Friday’s thumping 60-4 win at Castleford Tigers.

Afterwards, Hurrell revealed he hopes to continue playing in the Red V in 2025. “I’d love to – who wouldn’t want to stay at Saints?” Hurrell told Love Rugby League.

“I’m trying to be consistent every week so I can prove to the coaches that I can go again next year. This is the time to negotiate contracts, so hopefully I get the chance to stay at the club and be around the boys a bit longer.

“It’s up to me first to work on what I do on the field and then it’s up to the club to decide. But I’d love to stay.”

Head coach Wellens heaped lavish praise on Hurrell following his display against Castleford and admitted it had given him much to think about.

Asked whether he would look to keep Hurrell beyond this season, the Saints boss replied: “Absolutely, if he keeps playing like that. “Konrad’s biggest challenge has always been keeping himself fit and on top of his physical capabilities.

“When he does that, he’s as effective as anyone in the competition. What you saw in Konrad against Castleford was the culmination of a lot of sacrifices that he made in pre-season and early on in the season.

“He’s a big bloke who is Tongan and quite naturally it’s a lot harder for those blokes to stay on top of things because they don’t have the same physical make-up as a stereotypical English kid.

“Therefore they have to make a lot more sacrifices than others and Konrad does that. When he does it well and consistently, you can see how effective he is because he’s very hard to tackle.

“We all love Konrad at the club, he’s obviously a huge character and you see that most weeks. I’m really pleased for him tonight to get the rewards for all those little bits of sacrifice that he does make.

“I wouldn’t say he’s playing for a contract; every player is playing for a position in the team and Konrad is no different.

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“What we want at St Helens is for players to be competing to be in the team and behind him Konrad has someone like Ben Davies who has been training brilliantly and not quite had an opportunity.

“We’ve got a whole host of young kids who are chomping at the bit ready to go, so the challenge for anybody who has got the jersey is to continue working hard to keep it.”

Hurrell spent two seasons at Leeds between 2019 and 2020, winning the Challenge Cup in his second year at Headingley before switching to rivals Saints.

“Every kid’s dream is to win something,” added Hurrell. “You train hard in pre-season and play hard in every week with that in mind.

“I’ve won the Challenge Cup with Leeds and then came to Saints and won a Grand Final and the League Leaders’ Shield as well.

“When you start winning things, you want it even more and I think this St Helens team has been thriving for the last five years now.”

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Remarkably, St Helens scored 52 unanswered second-half points at Wheldon Road to reduce Castleford to rubble following the early dismissal of winger Tommy Makinson.

Hurrell caught the eye with a superb display and added: “I’m trying to get better every week.

“But I think that consistency from myself was very much needed because some time ago I played well one week and then sh**e the next week!

“Now I’m just trying to do it week in and week out, but this was a tough one because in the first half we went down to 12 men. The boys stuck in and Castleford got a red card in the second half, so I think we just rolled on from there.

“We had a tough game last week [losing 40-20 at Hull KR] so it was good to see the boys turn it around against Cas.”

As Hurrell bids to secure another year at Saints, he is also looking forward to the arrival of his second child in September.

“I’ve got a little boy and another boy on the way,” he said. “I think that’s part of me being mature and getting into a routine with fatherhood. It’s hard, but I’ve been blessed and it’s the most rewarding thing ever.”

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