Wellens ready for switch to the pack

He’s the long-serving St Helens full-back, but Paul Wellens looks set to line-up in Friday’s derby with Wigan in the forward pack.

Wellens, 33, is a veteran of 439 appearances in the red “V”, and has made the number one shirt his own over a decorated career, which has taken in Super League titles, Challenge Cups and individual honours including the 2006 Man of Steel.

But new coach Nathan Brown wants the club captain to play in the pack, a move that has almost been forced by the form of Jonny Lomax, since he switched from scrum half to full-back to cover for the injured Wellens.

Wellens said: “I spoke to Nathan Brown numerous times before the start of the season and when I was injured.

“We discussed various options, for both myself and the team, and it’s something I’m very comfortable with.

“A lot of cynical people will think I’m just saying that but, hand on heart, it doesn’t concern me where I play.

“What I want is to be in the team, to be able to contribute, and what number I’ve got on my back or what position I play it not something that ever concerns me.

“I consider myself not a full-back but a rugby player and, with my experiences, I’m pretty confident that, whatever position I play, I can do a good job.”

Brown developed a reputation at Huddersfield for playing players in new positions, as part of dynamic attacking formations.

Wellens, who has scored 213 tries in his career and is only 67 points off racking up 1000 for Saints, has only ever started games in a position other than full back 34 times – 22 at scrum half, five at centre, five at stand-off and one each at hooker and on the wing.

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