St Helens are set for one of two major signings ahead of the 2o24 Super League season as they look to wrestle the Super League title back from Wigan Warriors.
After the exit of Will Hopoate, the Saints are one of a few clubs who have a quota spot open and it is understood that this quota spot will be used on one of two potential targets.
The Saints have a priority at centre due to Hopoate’s departure. They were reportedly interested in Warrington centre Toby King after his spell on loan at Wigan Warriors.
However, any chance to sign the centre has gone up in smoke according to the Warrington Guardian and he has been given the three shirt at the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the 2024 season.
That said, they have another potential target at centre in the shape of Melbourne Storm and Papua New Guinea centre Justin Olam. But the Saints do have options in that role with Konrad Hurrell contracted for the 2024 season and with three wingers fighting for the two wing spots in the shape of Tommy Makinson, Jon Bennison and Tee Ritson which could leave one spare to cover centre which is something Makinson has done in the past.
Therefore, the Saints could use their quota spot on a forward instead with Paul Wellens interested in creating more options in the front row after a series of injuries in recent seasons.
The most notable was the season ending injury to Agnatius Paasi in the Challenge Cup semi-finals last year. It is believed that Saints are considering a move for a prop to reinforce this area especially now that Dan N0rman is at Leigh Leopards.
The Saints already have one new face in their squad in the shape of Jake Burns. The 23-year-old hooker originally came to the Red V on a three-month trial in January 2022 after being spotted playing open age with Halton Farnworth Hornets. After showing great work ethic whilst on trial, Burns then joined our Reserves ranks for the season, performing strongly in the campaign and was justly rewarded by being named the Saints’ Reserves Player of the Year for 2022.
Staying with Saints in 2023, Burns has kept working hard; with Reserves Head Coach Derek Hardman, stepping into the First Team training squad during the campaign, and taking opportunities to play on loan with North Wales Crusaders.
Jake started at #9 with the Welsh club in their incredible run to get to the Betfred League One Play-Off Final, winning three knockout fixtures straight after finishing the regular season in sixth place to get the last match of the season.
The hooker will now train consistently with the First Team as a member of our 2024 squad.