Impressive St Helens youngster makes League 1 switch as former Warrington Wolves man key

Rochdale Hornets have confirmed the signing of young St Helens centre Sam Haynes for the 2023 campaign in a move where a former Huddersfield Giants and Warrington Wolves man proved key.

In 2022, the youngster featured for the Super League Champions’ Under-19s, scoring 12 tries in 12 appearances but was unable to ensure they retained their title as Saints came up short against a Jack Sinfield inspired Leeds Rhinos in the academy Grand Final.

A Halton Hornets junior, Haynes also featured in the Scholarship system at St Helens from 2019.

He was also a part of the Lancashire squad for the Academy Origin in 2022 under Head of England Pathways and former Huddersfield Giants boss and treble winner Paul Anderson, playing twice.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this team looking forward to the season and seeing what we can achieve,” Haynes said.

“When I got the call that Rochdale came in, it was a no-brainer really.

“I think the exciting part is the new team Gary [Thornton] has built and next season will hopefully be one to remember.”

And Thornton himself is delighted to have brought in such a promising young players.

He said: “Sam has come through St Helens academy and is now ready to step up to League 1. He has been a proven try scorer right through his junior career, and is looking forward to testing himself at senior level.

“He has a terrific attitude and I know he is keen to get into pre-season and show everyone his abilities. He will add strength and pace to our backline while providing competition for places with his finishing qualities and strong defence. Sam has a bright future and we hope he fulfils his potential with us, next season.”

Chairman Andy Mazey is equally encouraged by the acquisition revealing the role former Wigan Warriors halfback Kevin Brown played in the move.

He said: ““Sam is another young player with bags of potential, and a fantastic pedigree, having come through a first class scholarship and academy at St Helens.

“We became aware of his availability at the end of last season and, after a number of weeks of conversations with his agent Kevin Brown, we finally managed to get a deal done to bring him to Hornets.

“He’s a tall, athletic, outside back and certainly knows where the try line is so I’m looking forward to seeing him continue his development with Gary and the coaching team in 2023.”

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