St Helens recruitment update: Paul Wellens outlines retention ‘priorities’ with key players off-contract

Drew Darbyshire
Paul Wellens St Helens Alamy

St Helens coach Paul Wellens - Alamy

St Helens coach Paul Wellens has provided an update on the club’s recruitment and retention ahead of the 2024 campaign.

The Super League champions have several players out of contract at the end of the season, including first team regulars Sione Mata’utia, Konrad Hurrell, Jake Wingfield and Will Hopoate.

And Wellens says whilst the club are scouring the transfer market at who is available to bring in for next season, he says their priority is to retain their star players.

“What we always prioritise, as a club first and foremost, is the retention of our good players and players who have worked hard for their opportunity,” Wellens said.

“Getting them done first is always our priority, players that are part of this team and have been part of the success we’ve had.

“But like every other team, there are areas we feel we can strengthen and when we make those decisions we’ll get those announced.

“Like every other team, we want to strengthen and look where we can improve.”

St Helens boss on when they will play their game in hand

The World Club Challenge champions currently have a game in hand in Super League, which is against last year’s Challenge Cup finalists Huddersfield.

A date for the game has not yet been confirmed, with Wellens saying it is down to how far they progress in the Challenge Cup.

He said: “I think the intention was always, from a Super League perspective, to see how the teams progressed in the Challenge Cup and hopefully we can progress to the final and go on to win it – that’s our aim.

“Should that not be the case, I’m sure that fixture will be slotted in on one of those weekends.

“However, we are hoping that fixture gets slotted in further down the track.

“There’s a few options available for us there but it’s never going to be an easy fit.

“What we’ve got to do – wherever it fits in – is play three games in the space of eight or nine days.”

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