St Helens boss confirms new player contracts after duo omitted from departure list

Josh McAllister
Tee Ritson is congratulated by Agnatius Paasi and Jack Welsby after a try-saving tackle.

Tee Ritson is congratulated by Agnatius Paasi and Jack Welsby after a try-saving tackle. Photo by Alex Whitehead/

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens admits duo Jake Wingfield and Tee Ritson will remain with the club beyond 2023 after being omitted from the club’s departure list.

The reigning champions confirmed that 11 players will leave the Totally Wicked Stadium at the end of the season, including retirements for club legends James Roby and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Overseas star Will Hopoate had his departure announced, having marked his return from injury in the 30-12 win over Hull in the final round of the regular season with a play-off tie confirmed against Warrington.

Wesley Bruines will join Warrington Wolves on a one-year deal ahead of Sam Burgess’ arrival as new head coach, while Dan Norman and Lewis Baxter will leave with the pair linked with moves to Leigh Leopards, via Examiner Live.

Jumah Sambou, Dan Hill, Matthew Foster, Daniel Moss and Taylor Pemberton will also depart the Saints at the end of the year.

And boss Wellens has confirmed imminent new contracts for forward Wingfield and winger Ritson, who joined on a season-long loan from Championship outfit Barrow Raiders for 2023.

Wingfield, 22, has been sidelined since May through injury and was entering the final few weeks of his current contract.

Paul Wellens confirms new contract

“They both will be staying on with us,” Wellens confirmed to Love Rugby League on Friday.

“Jake has had his injury problems as well this year and a shoulder operation which has been disappointing for him.

“I think Tee has had a really strong year with the club. Tee is 27 but in his first year in full-time rugby, there’s a whole different heap of demands that he had to get used to.

“I think whenever he’s played, he’s done a really solid job and I think he’ll only improve.

“He’s done a great job. When picking the team the last few weeks, I’ve gone with Jon Bennison and it’s a really tough call. But ultimately Jon  Bennison has done the job in a Grand Final and we can’t discount that.

“I know Tee is disappointed that he’s not playing. I love that about him and he’ll continue to fight for his place in the team.”

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