Why Paul Wellens gave up other job to be St Helens Head Coach

Earlier today Paul Wellens had that moment everybody chases in their professional lives: the attainment of his dream job.

Born a stone’s throw away from Knowsley Road, if you cut Wellens open all you’d fine is a red vee.

He devoted his playing career to the club and as it ended he desperately tried to play on despite injury.

Now after years as an assistant coach, Wellens gets to sit in the St Helens hotseat but it came at a price for the former Man of Steel.

Speaking to the press for the first time today, Wellens confirmed that taking on the role meant that he felt he needed to step away from his role in the England camp which he has had for a number of years only to step away just prior to the start of the World Cup.

On this he said: “The only unfortunate thing for me was I’ve been involved with England for a number of years now and I was really excited about being involved in the World Cup but what’s important for me now is committing to this role and wholeheartedly.”

He also praised England boss Shaun Wane for the role he played in making this decision easier: “I’ve been in dialogue with Shaun Wane about the possibility of this happening and he’s been very understanding of the situation as someone who has coached his hometown team and understands the pressures that come with it.

“I can’t thank him enough for his support. I’m going to miss not being involved but it is the right decision.”

The disappointment of having to step away from the job didn’t take anything away from the achievement of being appointed Head Coach of his hometown team and on the appointment he said: “I am immensely proud to be named Head Coach of a club like this. Given the fact it is a club that I hold very close to my heart and one that I have been involved with all my life, it is a huge privilege and a huge honour for me.

“I have worked with some great coaches who have been hugely successful and I have had some wonderful experiences along the way too. I have learnt a lot I will lean on those experiences as I take the reins as Head Coach.

“I will take knowledge from all those coaches, but I also have my own ideas and philosophies and I will want the team to play my way. I know the fans and the town like an attractive style of rugby and I want to expand on that a little bit. Having said that, we also need to maintain the desire, the hard work and that defensive steel as that is what gets you over the lines in big games.

“What success has given this group over the last few years is a thirst for more and I also have that as a coach. I want to continue that. The challenge year on year does get tougher and it is one that we are going to have to rise to again.”

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