St Helens coach Paul Wellens beams over ‘fantastic’ young gun: ‘He’s going to be a very good player’

Drew Darbyshire
George Delaney St Helens Alamy

George Delaney in action for St Helens

St Helens coach Paul Wellens has been full of praise for ‘fantastic’ prop George Delaney, saying it’s ‘quite clear that he’s going to be a very good player’.

The 19-year-old front-rower has made 11 appearances for St Helens since making his debut for the club in 2022.

Delaney started the season playing in the Championship for Swinton via dual-registration, playing five games for the Lions before being given another shot in the Saints first team.

The former Halton Farnworth Hornets junior has taken his first opportunity with both hands, leaving Wellens and Saints supporters impressed.

“He’s been fantastic George,” Wellens told Love Rugby League.

“The five or six games he had a Swinton at the start of the year really got him going and got him used to competing against men in a tough competition.

“He then got an opportunity and when he got that opportunity he grasped with it both hands.

“Being a young front-rower, we had a similar experience with someone like Matty Lees years ago – we certainly don’t want to run him into the ground.

“We want to look after him, let him learn and that’s the reason he hasn’t played for a number of weeks because we’ve got players there that are fit and players who are a bit more experienced but that’s time away for George to look at his game, see what he needs to improve on and then come back and try to work on those and that’s what he did last week (against Warrington).

“I couldn’t be happier with his approach and the way he goes about his work. It’s quite clear that he’s going to be a very good player.”

St Helens starlet plays simple but effective, says Paul Wellens

Delaney, who represented England Knights last year, plays the game just how a front-rower should according to Wellens: by running hard and working hard in defence.

“George comes and asks me most weeks if there’s anything that he needs to work on in terms of improving,” Wellens explained.

“My conversation is pretty much the same, if you keep running the ball hard and keep making your tackles, you are pretty much doing the job of what you want every front-rower to do. In some respects, keeping it simple is what’s important for George.

“Obviously there’s always small detail things that he and any other player can work on, but the simplicity in which George plays with is a real strength as well.”

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