St Helens have finally completed the 2024 squad numbers by filling the vacant number three shirt with Parramatta Eels centre Waqa Blake.
The centre joins the Saints ahead of the 2024 season and takes on the famous number three shirt previously held by the likes of Kevin Naiqama, Matt Gidley, Jamie Lyon and Mal Meninga.
Blake will hope to add to that legacy but what you may not know is the Blake was previously among the highest paid players on the planet.
In fact, he ranked 68th in the rugby league rich list on a contract worth a huge $650,000 and over a million in terms of its overall value.
It is unclear what money he is earning at St Helens who recently gave a bumper new deal to Jack Welsby with talk of a similar deal going to Lewis Dodd.
Blake excited ahead of new challenge
Speaking to Saints’ official website, Blake revealed his excitement at the new challenge: “I can’t wait! I was excited to get over as soon as Paul [Wellens] and Mike [Rush] gave me a ring to say it was done, especially to a great club like St Helens. I’m looking forward to switching from the heat to the cold!
“To come to a club like St Helens where they’ve always been in the top four or top two, and then such a big thing winning four-in-a-row, I’m hoping I can fit in, and we can win another one. Just looking at all the players that they have there, all the strike, I’m keen to get to work.”
The acquisition of Blake is an exciting one for both the Club and the competition of Betfred Super League, and the Lautoka-born player has heard all about rugby league in the northern hemisphere by a former Saint.
“I think it’s getting better [Super League], I saw St Helens beat Penrith last year in the World Club Challenge, no one would have thought it. The quality of football is getting better and you can see that in the England side that played Tonga.
“I’ve played with Kevin Naiqama and he killed it at Saints, and I watched the Grand Final where he won Man of the Match. He told me a lot about Super League when we were in Fiji camp, how special it is over there, and that Saints are a great bunch of boys, so I’m looking forward to it.”
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