St Helens confirm signing of James Bell

Drew Darbyshire
James Bell

St Helens have signed loose forward James Bell from relegated Leigh on a two-year deal.

The 27-year-old was one of Leigh’s top performers this season, making 18 appearances the Centurions.

He started his career in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors before spending two seasons with Championship side Toulouse prior to his Leigh move last year.

James Bell looking forward to his new role

Bell said: “I couldn’t believe it when my manager put the contract in my emails. This has been the opportunity I have been waiting my whole career for. Joining the Super League this year, clearly St Helens are the team to beat and I hold them in high regard.

“I can’t wait to rip in, join a winning culture and a great system and I feel it will take my personal game to the next level. I really can’t wait.”

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf said: “Whenever we have played Leigh, James has made himself noticed through his physicality. The way he wants to get up and out of the line and have an impact on the game. He is a player with a great work ethic.

“He also has an outstanding skill set that will suit how we want to play. We found him difficult to defend against, particularly with his short passing game and his ability to play right into the line and play out of the back.

“I also love his versatility. He can play that 13 role, on the edge if needed and he has also jumped in at nine. So he is going to offer us some great depth and competition across a number of starting spots.”

James Bell was born and raised in New Zealand but qualifies to play for Scotland through family heritage. He has won five caps for Scotland and appeared for the Bravehearts at the 2017 World Cup.

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