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St Helens in market for star signing as they leave starting number vacant

St Helens confirmed their squad numbers for the 2024 season late last night with the major change seeing a new number nine following James Roby’s retirement, however more interestingly was the vacancy for shirt number three.

Of course we all knew that Daryl Clark had signed from Warrington Wolves as their heir to Roby’s throne so seeing him occupy the number nine shirt was no surprise at all.

Instead though the decision to leave the number three shirt as vacant has confirmed that the Red Vee are in the market for a new centre of starting quality.

The reason Saints are after a new centre is due to the end of season release of Will Hopoate, the senior centre having spent two seasons at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Hopoate then went on to play in the England and Tonga test series, skippering the Tongans in the third and final test on what would be the final game of his career.

He announced his retirement in the days after the match calling time on a stellar career but shocking many given that he was aged just 31-year-old.

During his two year stint in England he lifted a Grand Final before being part of the team that went down under to lift the World Club Challenge in the incredible win over Penrith Panthers.

As part of their squad number announcement Saints confirmed that the shirt had been deliberately left vacant so that they could recruit a new starter, the search being held both in England and internationally.

The club’s statement finished off reading: “Supporters will of course see that the number #3 is currently not allocated to anyone yet following the departure of Will Hopoate. The Club continues actively looking in both the domestic and international club market to recruit a player to join our 2024 squad who will take that squad number.”

Saints squad did feature another new name though with Matt Whitley returning to England after his time in France with Catalans, the second-rower set to play for his beloved boyhood club where he will wear the number 19.

St Helens 2024 Squad

1 – Jack Welsby
2 – Tommy Makinson
4 – Mark Percival
5 – Jon Bennison
6 – Jonny Lomax
7 – Lewis Dodd
8 – Alex Walmsley
9 – Daryl Clark
10 – Matty Lees
11 – Sione Mata’utia
12 – Joe Batchelor
13 – Morgan Knowles
14 – Moses Mbye
15 – James Bell
16 – Curtis Sironen
17 – Agnatius Paasi
18 – Jake Wingfield
19 – Matt Whitley
20 – George Delaney
21 – Ben Davies
22 – Sam Royle
23 – Konrad Hurrell
24 – Jake Burns
25 – Tee Ritson
26 – Ben Lane
27 – McKenzie Buckley
28 – Dayon Sambou
29 – Will Roberts
30 – Jonny Vaughan
31 – Noah Stephens
32 – Leon Cowen

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