St Helens: Paul Wellens hails ‘enthusiastic’ young star who can force way into side

Drew Darbyshire
Paul Wellens St Helens

St Helens coach Paul Wellens has hailed the way Wesley Bruines has applied himself since arriving at the Super League champions in the off-season.

Bruines, 19, linked up with the Saints on a one-year deal in the off-season after playing for South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Jersey Flegg competition last year.

The towering outside-back, who hails from Dewsbury, has impressed during time on loan with Swinton and North Wales Crusaders in the Championship and League 1 respectively this season.

Bruines has been named in St Helens’ 21-man squad for Thursday’s trip to Hull, and Wellens was full of praise for the rising star in his weekly press conference.

“Wes is doing a great job,” Wellens said when asked about Bruines pushing for a chance in the first team.

“He is keen, eager and enthusiastic.

“He is all the things you want in a young player and we are delighted with his progress and the way he is going.

“He’s really fitted in well with the group since he arrived here.

“It is a very difficult team to force your way in to and he was very close earlier on in the year to getting his debut and it just never quite happened for him.

“What Wes has got to do is just keep working hard, the fact that we’ve lost a couple of outside-backs and Wes has been called into the 21 is a sign of where we see him as a player.

“He has got a lot more improvement in him and a lot of hard work to continue to do to force his way into the team but I know that is something he is determined to do moving forward.”

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Bruines is currently living with Tee Ritson, who has impressed since joining the Saints in the off-season after making the step up from part-time rugby in the Championship.

“People won’t see that away from the field but Tee has been great for him, they’ve been good for each other,” Wellens added.

“They are two fresh faces to the group and they’ve been able to help each other.

“Considering they are both living away from home, they’ve both been a great support for each other so they’ve obviously built up quite a strong bond as you can imagine living with someone for a long period of time.

“It is great they have got that support network there of each other, particularly being away from their families.”

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