Kristian Woolf explains how Konrad Hurrell rekindled his career at St Helens after Leeds Rhinos exit

When St Helens signed Konrad Hurrell, many questioned the decision.

Hurrell joined the Champions after three seasons at Leeds where he joined in 2019 after a spell at Gold Coast Titans.

Hurrell was a key player in a difficult season in 2019 scoring tries for fun and forming a superb partnership with Ash Handley which saw both included in the Dream Team as they were again in 2020.

Hurrell started 2020 brilliantly but the pandemic came at the wrong time for the centre. Nonetheless, he still played a crucial role in Leeds’ Challenge Cup win that season with assists in both the semi-final and final.

However, more injuries came in 2021 as he struggled for form and fitness not being the attacking weapon he once was.

So naturally, many questioned St Helens’ decision to bring him to the club but it has been a masterstroke united with his international coach Kristian Woolf.

Hurrell has formed a great relationship with Tommy Makinson on the right of Saints’ attack and helped them to the Super League title scoring against former club Leeds in the Grand Final.

After the game, Woolf praised the centre for the way he has rekindled his career: “I was really proud of Konrad not just to play the way he did but score the sort of try only a bloke like him can score. I was really happy for him.

“He copped a lot of flack last year and we copped a lot of flack for signing him. He would be the first to tell you he wasn’t at his best last year, wasn’t at his best fitness wise and there a few other things. But what he’s done, we can give him the environment but at the end of the day he’s got to make the choices that he’s going to be fitter, drop weight and be what he knows what he can be. He’s had an outstanding year for us.”

After falling out of favour over recent years in terms of the Tonga squad, playing under Woolf at Saints has also rekindled his international career with Woolf saying of Hurrell: “He’s got a good shot at making the Tongan team at the end of the year.”

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