St Helens are heading into the season aiming to secure an unprecedented fifth Grand Final win in a row but not before they go down under to try and secure the World Club Challenge on Australian soil when they face Penrith Panthers on February 19th.
To get prepared for the challenge Saints went to Everton football club to avoid the cold weather and utilise the Toffees indoor facilities.
Training at Finch Farm happened last week and new head coach Paul Wellens has spoken about the experience in a video shared to the side’s Twitter page.
“With the weather conditions the way they’ve been this week it’s been very difficult to get out on field so it’s a great opportunity for us to utilise a facility like this down at Everton.
“We’ve got to say a huge thanks to them for allowing us to come down here and it’s great to know that we have sports clubs from other sprots on our doorstep who are willing to help us out.”
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) December 19, 2022
The journey from St Helens stadium to Finch Farm is just over 10 miles and it meant that the Red Vee could get in some much needed practice as a whole squad as a lot of their team were late returning to pre-season following the World Cup.
The session featured the return of some big names including Jonny Lomax and Alex Walmsley, who will both be key alongside James Roby in assuming leadership roles this season.
— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) December 15, 2022
In preparing for the upcoming season Wellens takes command of the Red Vee for the first time as head coach, having previously captained them as a player.
He’s transitioned from his role as women’s head coach following Kristian Woolf leaving to join NRL new side the Dolphins with Wayne Bennett.
“I think it’s always key that you try and keep things fresh and you can do that in a number of ways but one is a change of venue and that’s what we’ve got today. It’s great for the lads to come down to a facility like this and see how the other half live so to speak. It’s a great opportunity for them.
“Albeit different sports you can learn so much from different sports and having a relationship with the likes of Everton will only benefit us moving forward.”
Wellens had been speaking to Saints TV and the footage was shared by the clubs official twitter page.
They’ll head down under in the new year to face two time consecutive NRL champions Penrith in a game set to decide the best club rugby league side in the world.