St Helens sign speedster on permanent deal following loan spell: ‘There’s not many who can move like him’

Drew Darbyshire
Tee Ritson St Helens

Tee Ritson in action for St Helens at Magic Weekend - Alamy

St Helens have signed winger Tee Ritson on a two-year contract following his loan spell from Championship club Barrow Raiders.

The Thailand-born speedster joined the Saints ahead of the 2023 campaign on a season-long loan deal from Barrow, with an option to make the move a permanent one.

Ritson made 16 appearances for Paul Wellens’ side in his first season as being a full-time professional rugby league player, scoring three tries.

During the 2023 campaign, Ritson matched the Super League top-speed record at 36.41km/h in their Challenge Cup quarter-final victory over Hull FC.

On joining Saints permanently, Ritson said: “I’m absolutely buzzing, it’s something that I’ve worked hard for all year.

“When I came it was initially just for this year, there was always that thing in the back of my mind about what would happen – but for the club to show their faith and trust in me, I’m buzzing to stick around for the next two years.

“I know I’ve got a lot more in me and I’m really looking forward to hitting the ground running now.

“I’m hoping to cement my place as a starting player in the team, this year hasn’t worked out quite how we’d envisaged it at the start of the year but going into the next few years hopefully we can some silverware and I can be one of the first names on the team sheet.”

St Helens boss Paul Wellens wants to help get the best out of Tee Ritson

Saints coach Wellens says he wants to help Ritson reach his maximum potential, with the Cumbrian winger having scored 70 tries in 73 appearances for Barrow.

Wellens said: “I think Tee has had a great 12 months with us, people have to understand it’s his first year in a full-time environment and he’s grown as a person, grown as a player on the back of that.

“There’s plenty of improvement left in him and I’m sure we’ll see the signs of that in 2024. I know he’s keen to get back to work and find those improvements.

“He is a great lad who has fit in so well with the group and we will continue to work hard together.

“Tee’s pace is one of his attractions, there’s not many people who can move like him – we’ll work hard as a team to give him more opportunities to showcase that.”

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