St Helens recruitment update as Paul Wellens discusses Lewis Dodd replacement

Aaron Bower

Paul Wellens has revealed that St Helens are due to hold discussions imminently over their plans to replace Lewis Dodd: and has hinted they will give serious consideration to internal options.

Dodd will leave the Saints at the end of this season to sign for NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs: a decision Wellens insists is disappointing, but one that he respects.

The immediate expectation from many is that the Saints would head into the transfer market to find a direct replacement for Dodd: but Wellens has suggested that they will give full consideration to existing members of the Saints’ squad to step into the number seven shirt, too.

He said: “We’re due to sit down as a club and have those discussions around what we see as the best fit. One of the options is to go out and sign another seven as a direct replacement, but we’ve also got Moses (Mbye) who has played in the seven shirt.

“There’s the ability to move Jonny into seven and sign a one or a six, so there’s a number of things we need to discuss and consider.

“We need to respect we’ve half-backs in our junior system too. Will Roberts has returned from a serious injury who we don’t want to stand in the way of. George Whitby will come full-time with us in a short space of time, and we want to provide a pathway for those lads to stake a claim for a position too.”

When asked about Dodd’s departure, Wellens said: “It’s disappointing that he’s chose to go and play elsewhere, but that’s his choice.

“We as a club and I as a coach absolutely respect it. He’s a brilliant young man, we’re very proud of him in terms of what he’s done since he came to the club.

“The way he’s forced his way into the first-team squad and been a key player for us.. we wish him all the best and hope he goes to the NRL and makes a real success of it because there’s no issues or simmering undertones. He’s a great lad.”

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