Kyle Amor backs Saints to retain title and calls for better education of players

St Helens prop Kyle Amor is backing his side to retain the Super League title – saying there’s no chance ‘complacency or arrogance’ will scupper their prospects.

Saints lifted the Grand Final trophy in October last year having finished top of Super League with a record 16-point lead.

And Cumbria-born Amor, 32, says bookies are right to have Saints as overwhelming favourites to finish on top in 2020, despite them crashing to defeat at Warrington last week.

Amor, a Sky Sports pundit and who’s just begun a degree in Physical Eduction & Sport Science at Liverpool Hope University, revealed: “The bookies have rightly got us as favourites this year, in my opinion.

“We’ve been the best side in Super League for two years now and we’ve lost a total of seven games in 60 rounds of fixtures.

“We’ve been the best side in Super League for two years now and we’ve lost a total of seven games in 60 rounds of fixtures.

“That’s a huge achievement given the brutality of the sport.

“We won the league last year at a canter and so the challenge for us is not to stagnate.

“We’ve not brought any new signings in but we’re still the benchmark – everyone wants that scalp and to knock us off the top.

“That in itself brings a real challenge which we have to acknowledge and rise to each week.”

Former Leeds and Wakefield Amor, who is nearing the end of his recovery from a recent shoulder injury, says there’s no change when it comes to the mental approach for Saints this year.

He adds: “We’ve been working on elements that we feel we can get even better at and the key is to not rest on our laurels, while demanding those high standards every single day.

“It’s going to be tough. For me, good sides win trophies but great sides back it up and do it again year on year. We want to be a great side that people talk about in years to come.

“There’s no new mental approach – we’re just a group keen to go again.”

Amor won the title with Saints in 2014 and acknowledges his own work ethic may have ‘subconsciously’ dipped in the season that followed.

But he’s adamant that won’t happen again, as he reveals: “Looking back, could I have done more after we won the title in 2014? Probably. But I don’t sense that this time.

“We’ve got a really experienced, older leadership group within our team and we’re the ones who drive the standards day in, day out.

“There’s no chance of complacency or arrogance creeping into this group of players.”

Amor recently took on a coaching role with Thatto Heath Crusaders, an amateur side located in St Helens and plying its trade in the National Conference League Premier Division.

And he’s studying for his degree through evening classes – which ensures he can fulfil his club commitments, too.

Speaking about the importance of education for young players, he adds: “It’s a big issue for rugby league.

“Whilst most of the clubs are involved in some level of educational programme, in my eyes, the game could do a bit more – instead of it being all about playing 24/7.

“And there’s really only a handful of players who’ll end up with a long career in the game.

“If I can do a degree, there’s no reason others can’t – and at a much younger stage in their career, rather than leaving it as late as I have.

“It’s about realising that if you get this degree done early doors, you can truly enjoy the back end of your career.

“I want to sow a seed in the minds of young players. And I’m made up that some of the lads on the programme are younger players from my own team.”


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