St Helens have revealed that its reserve team is there to not only to give players the opportunity to gain valuable game time against strong opposition, but also to hand trials and chances to new recruits.
With four new players joining to play in the reserves, the ‘second team’ will feature some rising stars at Saints in 2016.
Latvian Mikus Ozols has signed for the club on trial, along with former rugby union sevens international Tommi Hughes.
Additionally, Tom Connick and Dave Llewellyn have both agreed 12-month deals.
“The reserves are vital for us in making sure our top age academy players and those in the first team squad gain game time at the highest possible level,” Saints reserve team head coach Ian Talbot said.
“But it also enables us to try other avenues which may possibly unearth a gem.
“The four players who have signed will bolster the Reserves ranks and it is an opportunity for them either to stay in the game or show what they can do.
“I was keen to get him on board we he offers us some direction and organisation.
“Dave Llewellyn played with me a Rochdale and he brings experience to help out the younger lads. He currently teaches at Cowley.
“Tommi played international 7s in rugby union and comes highly recommended.
“And Mikus is a dual international having played rugby union for his country before changing to rugby league.
“He helped start his club Sigulda, which is on the outskirts of the capital city of Riga, and became player coach at the club.
“He is a strong running skilful player who gained full international honours in the current World Cup qualifying campaign against Spain in the lovely picturesque surroundings of RK Livonia in the village of Upesciems.
“Although it ended in defeat for the Latvian side, Mikus and the rest of the team played a major part in the profile of rugby league in Latvia reaching an all-time high.”