Lachlan Coote admitted moving to Super League was a gamble but on Saturday he can hit the jackpot.
The Scotland international full-back hit a low three years ago when, unwanted by the North Queensland Cowboys, he began contemplating moving into the second-tier Queensland Cup to wind down his career.
But then St Helens came calling and, after signing a three-year deal, he has not looked back.
He helped Saints end a five-year wait by winning the 2019 Grand Final in his first season in England and played a key role in their title retention last November.
3 titles in 3 years for Lachlan Coote
Now he has the chance to bring the curtain down on his Saints career on a high by completing the hat-trick when they take on Catalans Dragons at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Coote, who will join Hull KR in 2022, said: “The main reason I signed was to try to win a trophy so to go back to back and then go to a third Grand Final is a great achievement.
“It would be unreal to go back to Old Trafford and finish on a high there.
“I’m grateful to be part of this special group. Coming here after 2018, I was thinking my career was done and Saints probably saved my career really.
“I had a bad year in 2018 with a run of injuries and a coach that probably didn’t want me to be there. You then start questioning yourself and your self-confidence.
“It was a case of thinking I’d go back to a Queensland Cup team and finish off my career there but then Saints came into play and I took the gamble of moving the family all the way across the other side of the world to chase something.
“I tried to prove a point to myself my career wasn’t ended.
“Since I’ve been at this club, from day one I’ve been respected, it’s felt like somewhere I belong. It’s been a great place to be around and the people and players have brought the best out of me.”
Tough test against league shield winners
Lachlan Coote, who also won the Challenge Cup with St Helens this year, is acutely aware of the Catalans’ potential to spoil the party, particularly after their dramatic victory over them at Magic Weekend.
The French side trailed 30-18 with just five minutes left but ran in three converted tries to send the game into extra time. They won it with a golden-point drop goal from James Maloney that also clinched the League Leaders’ Shield.
Coote said: “That was definitely a good lesson for us, switching off and getting comfortable. Catalans showed they’re a great side at chasing points.
“The league leaders’ trophy is probably one of the hardest to get because you’ve got to be the most consistent throughout the year. They definitely deserve that trophy.”
Meanwhile, Coote is relishing the prospect of running out in front a big crowd at Old Trafford after playing in front of an empty stadium in Hull last year.
He said: “It’s going to be totally different. Last year didn’t really feel like a Grand Final but I’m sure this year it’s going to be back to the old ways.
“Either way, it’s going to be the end of an era for me so it’s going to be really emotional.”