St Helens prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook says he has been trying not to speak to new coach Kristian Woolf too much – so he doesn’t annoy him!
McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 34, is known for his enthusiasm and liveliness, and his Cockney charm is always apparent in interviews with the experienced forward.
He celebrates a testimonial season this year after serving Saints with distinction since 2011, having made his name in 97 appearances at Harlequins between 2006 and 2010.
The former England international said: “I try not to speak to him as much as I can because I probably will end up annoying him!
“But I call him Woolfy every now and then he’s a good bloke. He’s come in with his own
philosophy, he doesn’t really want to change much, he just wants to work on a few
little things that we can be better on and the boys are buying into it.”
Tonga international coach Woolf has big boots to fill – predecessor Justin Holbrook had Saints romping home to successive League Leaders’ Shields, and capped that off with Grand Final glory in October.
It’s his first permanent head coach role in the first grade, though he did gain some experience as interim head coach at Newcastle Knights in the NRL, after former Saints boss Nathan Brown stepped down.
His arrival is the only change at the Totally Wicked Stadium, with the club having made no new signings over the off-season.
Out the door have gone winger Adam Swift and out of favour half-back Danny Richardson, as well as Luke Douglas and Ryan Morgan, who both spent last season out on loan anyway.
LMS added: “It’s going to be another tough season. Everyone has recruited really well, we just need to get on a good run early and get points on the board.
“There’s no pressure. Hopefully we will be alright. We’ve had a good off season. If we can keep improving and keep everyone fit, I think that’s the main thing.
“We’re ready and raring to go. I just want to get pre-season out of the way because I’m sick and tired of running around now. I just want to play rugby!”
St Helens open their season live on Sky Sports against Salford, in a repeat of last season’s Grand Final.