20 Feb 2020

Senior: I want St Helens to win

“Definitely I want St Helens to win - even though it’s St Helens and it’s the other side to where I’m from."

Keith Senior is hoping unity can drive St Helens on to World Club Challenge glory this weekend.

Saints take on current NRL champions Sydney Roosters at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday, vying for their third trophy in the prestigious competition while Roosters bid to become the first team ever to clinch the title five times.

Senior is a Leeds Rhinos legend himself but knows all about the history of the annual fixture, winning it twice as a player in 2005 and 2008.

So, as a man who is acutely aware of the necessary ingredients for success, he believes Saints’ continuity can be enough to get them over the line on home soil.

“They were so dominant last year, and I think that squad will keep them going for a good few years anyway,” he said.  

“They’re moulded together as a team and they’ve gelled as a team - they’ve been together for a long time and there were very few changes this year, and I think that pays dividends going forwards.

“Everybody wants to keep that team together for as long as they can, because then you get that bonding, that gel and that understanding and that’s what St Helens have got.

“Definitely I want St Helens to win - even though it’s St Helens and it’s the other side to where I’m from, I want them to win, but it’s a tough call.

“St Helens have been a quality team and I hope Sydney Roosters bring over the best team they can, but hopefully Saints will turn them over on the day.”

Saints have started where they left off in Super League action this season, sitting at the summit of the table after three matches following victories over Salford Red Devils and Hull FC.

And they have done it with a new head coach at the helm after Kristian Woolf - who enjoyed an impressive record as Tonga boss - replaced Justin Holbrook after last year’s 23-6 Grand Final victory over Salford.

Continuity and change have run alongside the youth and experience that currently characterises Woolf’s squad, and Senior believes the latter two are further components that can propel Saints to victory against Roosters this weekend.

“Some of the young lads that have been coming through the ranks have also impressed - James Bentley has been really good and has really burst onto the scene for them,” he added.

“They’ve got that good mix of youth and experience, and you’d expect Kristian not to change too much because of the success they had last season, and he’ll just be dabbling about and bringing in his ethos about how to play the game.

“They’ve got that strength in depth and I think they’ve got some great young kids coming through - Matty Lees has been a revelation for them and Jack Ashworth has been another really good kid.

“The young kids who have come through the system and become first team regulars have now had their development and matured.

“I think they’ve fitted in well with the more experienced players like James Roby and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, those types of players, and they’ve fitted in with their thought process and how they play the game.”

The Betfred World Club Challenge is a huge night in Rugby League which sees the Super League Champions, St Helens take on the NRL Champions, Sydney Roosters. 

This year’s contest takes place at the Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens on Saturday 22 February (7:45pm KO). Secure your seat by visiting https://tickets.saintsrlfc.com/