Paul Wellens remains tight-lipped amid St Helens’ links to Warrington hooker and England international Daryl Clark for 2024.
Clark, 30, is off contract at the end of the year at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having made the switch from Castleford ahead of 2015.
James Roby, who is in line to become St Helens’ all-time leading match appearance record holder if selected this Saturday against Salford, will hang up the boots at the end of the season, leaving a massive void within Wellens’ squad.
Castleford-born Clark has made 275 Super League appearances to date, and was crowned Man of Steel in 2014.
Paul Wellens on Daryl Clark speculation
“There’s been no secret to the fact that James Roby is retiring and we’re on the lookout for a replacement,” Wellens told Love Rugby League.
“Obviously we’ve already got Joey Lussick here as well who is a great nine in his own right.
“We’re looking to bolster the squad. Look, I’m not going to comment on individual players. I respect there’s a lot of talk out there and who can potentially replace James Roby, those discussions are going on behind the scenes.
“There’s a number of players out there who I admire. Some we would be interested in, and others we’re not. That’s just the nature of it.
“But we are looking to improve as a squad and as a team in 2024. Any players that can improve us, we’ll be interested in.”
Joey Lussick’s shirt to lose?
Lussick, 27, is in his second season with the club, having returned from the NRL on a three-year deal from Parramatta Eels.
The Australian hooker will be looking to make the number nine shirt his own next season, having made 43 appearances for the club so far, scoring seven tries.
Wellens insists Lussick has the chance to put his best foot forward and make the starting position his own, often featuring from the bench under skipper Roby.
“Joey is here, he’s in the club and he can go out there and perform and that’s the challenge for Joey,” Wellens continued.
“What I can say about Joey is he’s an unbelievable professional.
“He works so hard, he’s a very valued member of the group. He’s a funny guy as well and brings a lot of humour to the group, he has a great personality.
“The challenge for Joey is to get out on the field and perform consistently well for long periods to put himself in that position.”