The likes of Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors, Leigh Leopards, Warrington Wolves, Hull FC and about every team all down to 10th in the league are all vying for the Super League trophy and dethroning Super League and World Champions St Helens.
The Saints are still well and truly in the mix at the top of the the league despite having to go down to Australia to play against Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge.
And injuries and bans have worked against them as well. Does this mean the Saints will take a new approach to signings.
When asked Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi’s injuries mean Saints will look for a transfer, Paul Wellens said on Saints TV:
“Potentially. It’s something that we’re having discussions around at the moment. We’re certainly not looking to replace those guys. We hope those guys return to fitness and get back playing for us because they’re both really valued members of the playing group and both brilliant individuals as well. We are having discussions.
“I think obviously the rise of George Delaney this year has eased that burden a little bit in terms of being able to play a middle. Morgan Knowles has shown he can move up, Sione Mata’utia has shown he can move up, so we do have options there.
“We’re going to have those discussions and see what best fits, but we don’t need to really jump at anything straight away. We prefer to be patient as a club and make the right decision and if that takes a few weeks or a couple of months longer then so be it.”
He spoke about injuries to Konrad Hurrell and others:
“Yeah, yeah, all have come through OK and it’s looking as if we could probably name a similar team this week.
“Konrad Hurrell trained with the squad again today, which is great, and he’s in contention. We’ll make a decision tomorrow, I always pull up from today’s session whether we name him in the squad, but again, he’s nearing a return, so if it’s not this week, hopefully next week.
“I don’t want to take a risk with any player returning from injury. We’ve done it tough in that respect this year. Konrad is an important player for us.
“What’s important for him is that when he does return, he returns in the best physical condition possible. Because when he is like that, he’s a player who gives us something different, adds a different dimension to us.
“There’s not many Konrad Hurrell’s knocking around in Super League, he’s a pretty unique player.”
On other injuries he said: “We’re still a few weeks away from others returning, we have to be a little bit patient. Obviously Matty Lees will return from suspension after this weekend but we’ll just see how those bodies come through.
“We can’t really put a definitive time frame on the likes of Curtis Sironen or Will Hopoate and how they’re progressing but at the same time we’re patient and hopefully they won’t be too far away.”