It was a wild Wednesday for transfers with the announcements that Wigan Warriors had signed Tyler Dupree with Brad Singleton heading the opposite way to Salford, Castleford Tigers dipped their toes in the international market in signing a World Cup star whilst St Helens topped it off by recruiting former Man of Steel Daryl Clark from Warrington Wolves.
Whilst each signing is huge to each club in their own right, the acquisition of Clark is a massive one.
That isn’t necessarily in terms of the player who is arriving but because of who Clark is replacing.
Clark will become Saints’ number nine and fill the boots that have long been worn by the legendary James Roby, a task that some would say is nigh on impossible to fulfil, but the Wire man is keen to give it a go and get started.
Speaking to Saints TV he said: “James (Roby) has been at Saints for a long time and what he has achieved at the club has been massive so it’s going to be big shoes to fill, but I believe if I’m playing my best and most consistent rugby I can add value to the team.”
That self-belief is key to the success of Clark at St Helens but he won’t suffer from any lack of belief in him from head coach Paul Wellens who also spoke with Saints TV about signing the former Castleford man.
“Daryl is a player I have long admired and a player whom I’ve also got to work with during my time with England as well.
“Not only is he a great player but he is a great person too and I think he will really fit into what we are about as a group, and I’m sure he will add a lot to our team next year and moving forward. I can’t wait to start working with him.
“I think Daryl wanted a fresh challenge, something a bit different and when we were made aware he would potentially want to come and join us too, we had no hesitation in going to get the deal done. I think it suits both us the Club and Daryl himself and I know he will settle in really well with our playing group.”
On the topic of replacing the man who is Super League’s most capped player, Wellens eased the pressure on the new recruit and explained how this is a transition that the Red Vee have gone through before.
“I always said when Keiron Cunningham retired there was no point trying to replace him, but we had James Roby there.
“What James Roby has done well for the whole of his career is just be himself, and go out there playing to his strengths and that will be the same for Daryl.
“When Daryl plays to his strengths and consistently well, I don’t think there’s a better #9 in the competition, so it will be great to have him on board.”