St Helens sign England star from Super League rivals in huge transfer

It’s been an incredibly busy day in Super League for transfers as teams rush to recruit ahead of the August 4th deadline and that’s seen Wigan Warriors sign Salford’s Tyler Dupree with former Leeds Rhinos forward Brad Singleton heading the other way, whilst there’s been movement at the Jungle with Castleford signing a Lebanese World Cup star to add some punch in their fight for survival.

The biggest signing of the lot though has been saved till last with St Helens announcing who their James Roby replacement is, in respect of the starting hooker role as opposed to anything else given how irreplaceable a player like Roby is.

That said though Saints have done their best attempt at finding an elite hooker to replace one of Super League’s best ever players and the man with big boots to fill in 2024 is Warrington Wolves’ Daryl Clark.

The former Castleford Tiger and Man of Steel will link up with Paul Wellens’ side for the 2024 season onwards, as announced by Saints this evening via their website.

“St.Helens R.F.C. are thrilled to confirm that England international Daryl Clark will join the Club on a three-year deal from next season!

“The 30-year-old is one of Betfred Super League’s biggest and best talents and takes on a new challenge with the Saints until the end of the 2026 season.

“With the impending retirement of club captain and modern-day icon of the Saints, James Roby, at the end of the year, the Club has sought to recruit strongly, and in Clark, it has secured a player of huge experience and quality to fill the hooking role.

“The experienced, dynamic hooker is a Steve Prescott Man of Steel recipient and has also won the League Leaders’ Shield and the Challenge Cup in a career spanning 340 appearances.

“Known for his darting runs from dummy half, and industrious defending, Clark also has 89 tries to his name.”

Clark also spoke to Saints TV expressing excitement about the move.

“I’m very excited! I’ve been at Warrington for a long time so I’m looking forward to a new challenge and a fresh start.

“The Club doesn’t need much selling, it sells itself. I’ve had some big contests with Saints over the years and I know how iconic the club is. It’s a team littered with quality players and some I’ve known through years at England camps.

“James (Roby) has been at Saints for a long time and what he has achieved at the club has been massive so it’s going to be big shoes to fill, but I believe if I’m playing my best and most consistent rugby I can add value to the team.

“I’ve watched a lot of Cunningham and Roby over the years, I know what they have achieved at the club and the heights that they’ve hit. I truly believe if I can get to my best rugby I can add plenty of value and do the shirt justice. It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”

With the quality of talent in the Saints ranks, Clark is aiming to be at his best consistently and is particularly looking forward to working with the forward pack.

“I’ve had good games and spells but for me, it’s about being on a consistent level and being able to do those sort of performances week in and week out. Being with Saints and with the players there I believe that will let me be at my best consistently – that is something I’m looking forward to.

“What helps my game is the obviously the middles, the pack, if I can get quick running off quick rucks and there’s not many better at that than Big Al (Walmsley), playing behind him and the likes of Matty Lees, Paasi (Agnastius) and Morgs (Knowles) is something I’m excited for. But you’ve got to look at Jonny (Lomax), Tommy (Makinson) and obviously Jack (Welsby) who is flying at the minute. The team’s covered in stars and quality players and I’m looking forward to fitting into that.”