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Kristian Woolf reveals who he wants to take over as St Helens boss once he leaves for the Dolphins

Kristian Woolf will be the Dolphins’ assistant coach in 2023 – that much is true.

The St Helens head coach has signed a deal to become assistant to Wayne Bennett for two years at the new NRL club before taking over himself as head coach.

Though Woolf’s immediate future is therefore sorted, his current club – Saints – are now searching for a successor who can have the same or bigger impact on the Merseyside club as the Tonga national boss has had.

In his time with the Saints, Woolf has etched himself into folklore with an incredible run of two Grand Final successes and one Challenge Cup victory.

And, now the Australian has given his backing for the new St Helens head coach to be his current assistant.

“I would 100% back Paul Wellens,” Woolf said.

“What I can say about Wellens as a coach is he’s an honest and trustworthy person – he’s got the traits that people want to play for as they can trust him.

“He’s got a very good demeanour about how he goes about that, he’s got great experience and worked under some great coaches here.

“I like to think that I have helped him in some ways, but he has worked under the likes of Wayne Bennett.”

Woolf has also revealed that Wellens thinks about the sport of rugby league differently to him and that that philosophy can take Saints forward in the future.

“He thinks about the game a little bit different, he’s got his own ideas and philosophies on how the game should be played.

“He questions me and throws ideas at me and given the opportunity he will come in with his own ideas and do things differently.

“Paul is one of the best assistants I’ve ever been able to work with so I would endorse him 100%.”

It does remain to be seen which direction the Saints hierarchy will go in, but Woolf will certainly be difficult to replace.

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