St Helens’ new signing Lachlan Coote thinks Super League is catching up to the NRL in terms of player quality and recruitment.
The 28-year-old will play in Super League for the first time in his career this season after joining St Helens on a three-year deal from North Queensland Cowboys.
And with clubs now being allowed to sign players on marquee contracts, Coote believes Super League’s quality of players isn’t far behind that of the NRL.
When asked if Super League is catching the NRL, Coote told loverugbyleague.com: “It definitely is.
“Being an Aussie player, it’s easy to be a bit stubborn or a bit arrogant but you always think the NRL has been a higher quality standard of football compared to Super League.
“But over the last couple of years, Super League is definitely picking up and there’s a lot of Aussie players that have signed with Super League clubs who are still in their prime.
“Saints have recruited well. Fans always expect big things from Aussie players I guess but hopefully we can bring that experience and that quality of football because we don’t want to let anyone down.
“NRL players now want to take part in Super League, and that can only be a good thing for the competition. It’s definitely going to be a strong competition this year.”
Saints fell at the final hurdle in their attempts to reach the Super League Grand Final last year, losing to local rivals Warrington Wolves at home in the semi-finals.
But Coote revealed that he and other new signings – Kevin Naiqama and Joseph Paulo – want to bring experience to help Saints go one better this time around.
The Scotland international added: “I can see the disappointment from within the club after how they finished last year.
“They went really well in the season, but they weren’t satisfied with how the season finished, so hopefully me and the other new signings can help balance the side out and bring consistency throughout the year and go all the way.
“I can bring experience from my kicking game. You can do a lot if you’ve got a good kicking game around you. We’ve been working on our kicking game a lot over the last couple of months, so I’ll definitely aim to bring my experience of kicking.
“All I’m hearing at the moment is the derby games against Wigan. It is pretty similar to what we had back in Townsville with the [Brisbane] Broncos and the [North Queensland] Cowboys. They’ve always been big games and they are always ones you look forward to, so I’m looking forward to round one.”