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St Helens: Four potential destinations for off-contract Waqa Blake

St Helens Waqa Blake

Waqa Blake has impressed in his debut Super League season with St Helens. Blake has been a regular in the Saints side, playing nine times so far this season. He has scored seven tries in those games and has proven to be a potent force in the Saints attack.

However, despite his fast start on Merseyside, Blake’s future is up in the air. Blake signed a one-year deal with the Saints, which expires at the end of the season, meaning Blake could hit the open market. With Tommy Makinson also leaving the club this summer, Saints have a decision to make on whether to retain Blake.

Speaking earlier in the week, Saints coach, Paul Wellens revealed that the club were yet to agree to a new deal with Blake. He wants Blake to become more consistent in order to earn a new deal.

“We’ve not really had many discussions with his situation,” Wellens stated. “The focus on him is to get consistency in his game. He’s made some really big improvements in recent weeks.”

With the future of Waqa Blake up in the air, we look at four potential destinations for the free-scoring winger.

Hull FC

Hull FC new head coach John Cartwright

Credit: Getty Images

Hull FC’s difficult start to the 2024 season means that they are facing a busy close season as they attempt to stop the rot. As a result, Director of Rugby, Richie Myler is scouring the market to find new recruits for the Black and Whites..

With a new coach, John Cartwright, now in place for 2025, the Black and Whites have a new sense of purpose in their recruitment drive.

FC’s backline has struggled this season, with the club frequently relying on inexperienced youngsters. These players have a huge amount of talent, however, they are not battle-hardened in the way more experienced counterparts are. FC have often faded in games and they need to add more seasoned professionals to their side.

Blake could be the perfect addition to Hull’s inexperienced squad. He would bring significant experience from his the Saints and in the NRL. His try-scoring exploits would add strike to FC’s attack which has been easily blunted at times.

Catalans Dragons

Catalans Dragons winger Tom Davies with Ugo Tison celebrates scoring in the corner against Warrington Wolves in the Super League.

Credit: Imago Images

With Tom Davies and Tom Johnstone set to leave the Catalans Dragons, they are certain to be on the look out for wingers to add to the squad. Saints man, Makinson, is reportedly set to join the Dragons for the 2025 season. Could they poach a second winger from the Saints at the end of the season?

Les Dracs have been linked with a number of high profile names for their second vacancy on the wing. Ash Handley was reportedly on their radar, however, he in under contract at Leeds for next season. NRL veterans Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Daniel Tupou have been linked with a marquee move to the South of France. The availability of Maika Sivo is also likely to be on interest to the French side.

However, if the Dragons decide to look closer to home, Blake could be a good option. His first season in Super League has proven he is capable of performing well in the division. A move to the South of France may be an attractive option for the Fijian man if a deal at Saints is not forthcoming.

Leigh Leopards

Super League

Credit: Imago Images

Leigh Leopards face a string of changes for 2025, with a number of high profile players set to leave the club. With John Asiata, Oliver Holmes and Tom Amone already confirmed as departing, Zak Hardaker, Ricky Leutele and Kai O’Donnell are rumoured to be next to leave.

If both Hardaker and Leutele leave, this could open a spot in the Leigh side for Waqa Blake. Although he has played mainly on the wing this season, Blake is versatile, and he is also proficient in the centres. Both Umyla Hanley and Josh Charnley have agreed extended deals, meaning the Leopards have no spots in the squad for a new winger. But if Blake makes the switch back to centre, he could be a good option for the Leopards.

He could be the perfect replacement for Hardaker or Leutele if Saints decide to let him leave at the end of the season.

St Helens

Waqa Blake

Credit: Imago Images

The obvious choice for both Blake and St Helens is for the Fijian flyer to stay on Merseyside and agree on a new contract with the club. As alluded to above, with Makinson due to depart, allowing Blake to leave would leave a huge hole in the Saints squad, with the club potentially having to recruit two new wingers for 2025.

Wellens has been complimentary of Blake in recent weeks. He recently described Blake as “a brilliant finisher, he took a lot of those tries extremely well and he carries the ball out of yardage well.”

Blake is also a versatile player, who is able to cover in the centres. With Konrad Hurrell also out of contract at the end of the season, with no deal agreed, the Saints need a player with Blake’s versatility to cover his potential departure.

Allowing Blake to leave feels like a huge risk for the Saints.

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