St Helens enter dual-registration partnership with Championship club

St.Helens have confirmed a dual-registration partnership with Championship club Swinton Lions for the 2023 season.

The dual-registration partnership means that Saints players will gain experience playing Championship rugby, whilst also giving players from Swinton the opportunity to gain game time with the Super League Champions.

Swinton gained promotion to the Championship in dramatic fashion and will be looking to consolidate their place in the second tier. Both clubs have linked up previously with former Saint Nico Rizzelli joining the Lions back in 2021 on loan.

Chief Executive Mike Rush said: “I think the dual-registration between the two clubs makes complete sense.

“The partnership is a great opportunity for some of our younger lads to get some first team action in the Championship with a good, competitive side, which can only build their experience and hunger to play first team rugby.

“At the same time, it’s a great chance for some of the Swinton players to get some playing time in our set up and specifically in our Reserves, so we’re happy that we can give them that opportunity to them next season.”

Saints Head Coach Paul Wellens added: “Throughout the season this partnership with Swinton will allow some of our players to get some valuable minutes in a really strong competition. We will ensure those players that get the opportunity to play, will uphold the high standards we expect of them when representing Swinton.

“Equally we value the importance of the Reserves competition and having the option to potentially call upon Swinton for some of their players at key times in the season as well as give their players some opportunities to play and train with us can only benefit both Clubs. We are looking forward to working with them in 2023.”

The Lions’ CEO, Steve Wild, said: “Myself and Allan Coleman recently had a really encouraging and productive meeting over at St Helens with their CEO Mike Rush, Head Coach Paul Wellens and Head of Youth Derek Traynor.

“In agreeing the DR arrangement, not only do we recognise the opportunities for potentially significantly strengthening our player pool for 2023, we also saw it as recognition from extremely knowledgeable people from within the sport as to how far we at Swinton are developing. We are now looking forward to working collaboratively with St Helens, which can only help our own ambitions both on and off the field. We have an excellent recent record for helping to develop young players, both through previous DR arrangements and our own efforts, and hopefully the “Saints” that do play for us in 2023 will grasp the opportunity as a crucial part of their own personal development.”

Swinton Head Coach Allan Coleman added: “It’s a fabulous opportunity for our club to work closely with St Helens. The Championship is a very tough and competitive competition so we will need to be strong week in and week out and working with St Helens will help us so much in that respect.

“They are currently Super League champions and have been for the last four years, and the calibre of players they have in depth is phenomenal. It also shows how we are progressing as a club when top Super League clubs such as Saints want to work with us.”

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