St Helens were rocked earlier today with the news that Alex Walmsley would be out for the rest of the season and for the World Cup.
Now, Saints head coach Kristian Woolf has waxed lyrical about the hulking prop and just how his side will be able to get through his absence.
“It is a big blow. The fact is he is the best prop in the comp. I don’t think anyone could argue, what he’s been able to do over such a long period in big games has made him elite,” Woolf said.
“There’s no doubt he is the best player in the competition, there’s no other player like him. No doubt he’s a loss, but as a team, we have played a number of games without him this year as well as a number of players who would be considered the best in the league and what it has done has made us stronger as a group.
“We have dealt with that adversity this year but we have found a way of getting through it. I’ve got every confidence that players are finding more of themselves to fill the void.”
Woolf also believes that Walmsley would undoubtedly make it in the NRL
“I did a forum a few weeks ago and I’ve got no doubt he would be really successful there. I think all of our English players would go well in the NRL. They are world class players and they show that in international games.
“Go back to the World Club Challenge in 2020 and the running game between Walmsley and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and it was a really good contest between two of the best in their halves of the worlds.
“The other example I would use is when I was coaching Tonga against Great Britain in 2019.
“In that game in 2019 we were standing over their pack in the opening 30 minutes and Al and one of the Burgess brothers changed the momentum back in Great Britain’s favour. He was great that night.”