As the likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and Hull FC announce major signings the Champions continue to keep together their squad.
St Helens have announced that 22-year-old forward Jake Wingfield has agreed to a two-year contract extension, keeping him with the Saints until at least the end of the 2025 season, with a third-year option to be triggered based on matches played.
The former Blackbrook ARLFC junior is a proud product of the Saints’ youth system having come through the Club’s Scholarship and Academy programmes and represented Lancashire at the Academy level before making his senior debut in 2020 against Salford Red Devils.
Wingfield impressed on debut and progressed to make seven First Team match appearances in 2021, before having a breakthrough season in 2022 where he racked up a further twenty appearances, including the Grand Final victory over Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford.
2023 began in a similar vein for the 22-year-old, coming off the bench in the Saints’ seismic World Club Challenge victory over NRL champions Penrith Panthers at the BlueBet Stadium in Australia.
Wingfield also grabbed his first senior try this season against Halifax Panthers in the Challenge Cup. Injuries have sadly limited the strong forward to just ten matches in the current campaign, but he is targeting to be back to his best for the start of 2024.
Speaking to saintsrlfc.com about extending his stay with the Red V, Jake Wingfield said:
“I’m over the moon, to be honest, I’ve enjoyed my time here for the last three years in the First Team and progressing through the system. I’ve been at the Club seven years now and there is no other place I would rather be, especially with the success we have had over the recent years, it feels like a no-brainer.”
With his future for the next two years secured, Wingfield wants to work hard and earn his way into becoming a consistent regular within the Saints’ forward pack.
“For me, it’s getting a consistent run of games, I know I’ve had some inconsistency coming from injuries but that is part and parcel of the game. Hopefully, I have better luck in the next couple of years and get a good run of games, I feel like I’ll progress a lot more and work my way into that [matchday] seventeen as a consistent spot.”
With key leaders such as James Roby and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook leaving come the end of this current season, Jake also wants to step up in seniority.
“I think that’s the natural progression for me, I earned my stripes a bit with the first three years in the First Team where you’re getting settled but I feel fully settled and I’m sort of in between the older lads and the younger lads now – so I don’t class myself as a young player anymore. I like to help the younger lads out but also; I’ve got a lot of learning to do off the older heads.”
It’s always news that Saints supporters enjoy learning, that one of our home-grown talents has extended their stay at the Club. In a thank you to our fantastic fans, Wingfield added:
“One of the main reasons that everyone loves playing at Saints is because we have got the best fans, you can tell when you run out on a home fixture and at an away fixture too when there’s thousands of fans there – it’s a dream come true.”
Head Coach Paul Wellens expressed his happiness that another Saints Academy product will be part of his squad going forward and commented:
“I’m delighted that Jake will be staying with the Club for another two seasons, he is another example of a hard-working young man coming through our ranks to develop into a professional and quality Super League player.
“Ever since Wingy [Jake] stepped into our First Team environment, we have seen him continue to develop, take his opportunities, and be very much at home in big matches such as the Grand Final or World Club Challenge.
“Injuries have hampered his playing time this season, but he’s stuck to the task of getting back to his best and I am sure we will see Jake playing some of his best rugby across 2024 and 2025.”