St Helens: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Drew Darbyshire

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Leave something alone; avoid attempting to correct, fix or improve what is already sufficient (often with an implication that the attempted improvement is risky and might backfire).

There was a lot of debate over the off-season about whether champions St Helens should have made a signing or two.

But why? They won the league by 16 points last season with the current squad they have.

There is a new face off the field though, with Kristian Woolf taking over the coaching reins from Justin Holbrook.

I understand that it can be a pretty sticky situation to be in when all of the other clubs around you are making high-profile signings but Saints have got the perfect blend of youth and experience at the moment.

Even with key members like James Roby, Morgan Knowles and Tommy Makinson missing – they are still a tremendous force and the kids that come in for the veterans are stars of the future.

Jack Welsby, who is still only 18, started on the wing in Saints’ 48-8 win over Salford on Friday night and was exceptional.

It is rare that you see players who you could play anywhere these days but you’d feel pretty confident putting Welsby in positions 1-7.

And then when Lachlan Coote went off with a knee injury, Welsby shifted to full-back and became one of the game’s highlights. He scored two tries and assisted Kevin Naiqama for a try.

Another youngster, James Bentley, caught my eye. The Ireland international originally joined St Helens as a back-rower from Bradford a couple of years ago but it seems like Saints are moulding him in to a hooker.

He was great in the No. 9 role for St Helens against Salford. He got stuck in and his work ethic in defence will no doubt be welcomed by his fellow forwards.

St Helens know they have got a good team when they can let a player like Danny Richardson leave the club and not sign someone to replace him. Terrific prospect Lewis Dodd will be more than capable of playing first-team when called upon this year if Jonny Lomax or Theo Fages pick up knocks.


A lot of sports fans get caught up in transfers and sometimes they want their club to sign players just for the sake of signing players or because rival clubs are doing it.

But I tip my hat to St Helens this year – they’ve repaid their incredible title-winning squad by putting full trust back in to them again and they’ve put faith in their youngsters as always.

Oh, and judging by Friday’s performance, St Helens are the team to beat in 2020.

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