Mark Percival: St Helens strength in depth will shine through

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens centre Mark Percival says that his side have enough options across the park to be challenging near the top once again in 2019.

Justin Holbrook’s side clinched the League Leaders Shield last season but fell short in both semi-finals, losing to Warrington Wolves in the league play-offs and suffering defeat against eventual winners Catalans Dragons in the Challenge Cup.

Although the Saints failed to win either of the big finals last season, they have won their opening two games this season, and Percival says that the quality of their recruitment will pose a few selection dilemmas as the year progresses.

He said: “It’s been good especially with Kev [Naiqama] coming in. You’ve got Regan [Grace] Tommy [Makinson] and [Lachlan] Coote too.

“The skill level is a lot different to what we had last year. Kev can play 1-5, Tommy can play full-back and Coote can play half back, which brings a lot of headaches for teams.”

As well as their NRL captures, Percival is looking forward to seeing some of the St Helens youngsters getting more minutes this year.

The 24-year says that the young talent on show at the Totally Wicked Stadium is exciting to see, but admits that he is looking forward to seeing one man in particular make his mark with the Red V.

Percival added: “We’ve got a few kids like Jack Welsby. Even though he’s only 18, he’s a really good player. If he gets the chances, he’s going to get even better.

“We were good all year but just weren’t good enough at the right times and there’s only ourselves to blame for that.

“We’ve got to learn from that and try and put it right this year.”

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