As clubs like Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC and Hull KR confirm major signings for the 2024 Super League season it can be easy to get swept up in new signings and forget about retention but St Helens have been doing great work in that department.
St Helens have now confirmed that Sam Royle has put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension, keeping the Saints Academy graduate with the Club until the end of the 2024 season.
Highly thought of by his Red V teammates and coaches, the former Thatto Heath junior has worked through the Saints system, earning Under 16s Player of the Year in 2016 and 2020’s Academy Player of the Year before joining the senior squad for the first time in 2021.
Over the last three seasons, Royle has earned more match opportunities each year making 22 in total, 15 of which have come in 2023. During the 2022 season Royle also earned the unique privilege of captaining the Saints at every level (Scholarship, Academy, Reserves and First Team), when he led out a young Saints side away at Castleford just after Easter that season.
Speaking about staying with the Saints for 2024, Royle told saintsrlfc.com:
“I’ve been here quite a long time now and I’m really excited to get one more year – let’s go again eh? It’s been instilled into me all the values, the sayings, and the actions that it takes to be a player at this Club.”
With two senior leaders leaving the Saints, Royle believes 2024 is the time for players around his age to step up and become key men within the squad setup, as the team also fights for more silverware next season.
“Louie [McCarthy-Scarsbrook] and Robes [James Roby] have been pillars of this club for a very long time, and it’s not going to be an easy job for us to go without them but we are going to need people to step up. Hopefully, some people around my age, me, Ben [Davies], play some more and do our bit.
“Everybody here has the same goal and it’s to go and win trophies and get the best accolades we can in this sport. It didn’t quite work out for us this year at the end, but that’s just going to make everyone more hungry and next year we’ll go again.
“I think for us it is just about improving, whether that is improving a little bit or improving a lot if everyone improves a little we can improve a lot as a whole – I think that’s a dangerous thing to know.”
As he prepares to head into his fourth season as a First Team player in 2024, Sam Royle shared his appreciation for the wonderful support of the Saints faithful.
“Thank you, obviously I love being here, I love this club, love going out and playing home games they are the best. Keep coming, keep giving your support, thank you.”
Head Coach Paul Wellens expressed his delight at the Club keeping the services of Royle for another year said to saintsrlfc.com:
“I’m very happy that Sam will be part of our 2024 squad, he’s a product of our youth system at the Club and we think really highly of him as he brings a lot to our group, earning his respect from his peers.
“Sam’s work ethic is second to none, making him exactly the type of player we want here at St.Helens.
“There’s no doubt when Sam pulls on the shirt, he’s ready to give his all, every time and he will bring that quality as always in 2024.”
The news of Sam Royle extending his contract for MORE with the Saints in 2024 follows the news of the Club retaining the services of James Bell, Curtis Sironen, Konrad Hurrell, George Delaney, Sione Mata’utia, and Jake Wingfield too.