Paul Wellens provides Lewis Dodd update following reports of NRL decision

Aaron Bower

Paul Wellens has stopped short of confirming that Lewis Dodd has rejected the NRL to agree a new deal with St Helens: but admits he hopes the club can retain the scrum-half beyond this year. 

Reports emerged overnight in Australia that Dodd was set to reject overtures from four different Australian clubs to pen a new deal with the Saints, with his existing deal set to expire at the end of the current campaign.

Wellens didn’t confirm those reports on Wednesday, but did insist that while they will not rush Dodd into any decision, they are hopeful he will be a Saints player in 2025 and beyond.

He said: “We’re certainly hoping so, I’ve had a couple of conversations with him and Lewis knows what I think of him. What it is, it’s important – and we said the same with Jack (Welsby) – that our young players take their time and don’t rush anything.

“We as a club are here to support him and he knows what we think of him. When things get clear in this mind about where he wants to play his rugby, hopefully it’s here. The conversations will continue, not just with myself and Lewis but with Mike (Rush) and his management team. Hopefully those conversations will end positively.”

Dodd is one of several senior players at the Saints out of contract at the end of this year, but Wellens admitted that he was ‘relaxed’ about the recruitment side of things – with any player not agreeing terms before May 1 allowed to enter the open market and speak to rival clubs.

“I’m pretty relaxed about it,” he said. “The majority of the squad is pretty set for next year, we’re just waiting on a couple of things that we hope fall our way. We’re relaxed about the situation and should things not go our way, we’ll adapt and look at where we can improve elsewhere.”

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