Woolf extends Saints stay
St.Helens R.F.C. have today confirmed that Head Coach Kristian Woolf will lead the Saints in 2022 after he and the Club took up the option to extend his contract into a third season.
Woolf succeeded Justin Holbrook as Head Coach at the start of the 2020 season, signing a two year deal with the option of a third in the Club’s favour.
He led the Saints to another Betfred Super League title in his first season at the Club before going one better in 2021, as Saints lifted their first Betfred Challenge Cup in 13 years with victory over Castleford at Wembley just under two weeks ago.
And Woolf will now look to build on that success with another Super League crown in 2021 before leading the Club again in 2022 after he extended his Saints stay for at least another year.
Kristian Woolf said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to stay on for another year at this great club.
“I love working with the group and they are an exceptional group of men. They work hard and their desire to win is great to be a part of.
“The Club and in particular Eamonn [McManus] and Rushy [Mike Rush] have been terrific with me and my family since I arrived. They have made every effort in difficult circumstances to ensure my family are happy here and that has made my decision to stay an easy one.
“Thank you also to the wonderful St Helens fans who again have made us feel so welcome and part of the St Helens community. When you are a long way from home, those things are so important.
“I am now looking forward to the future here at St Helens.”
Eamonn McManus, Chairman of St.Helens R.F.C. said: “It’s terrific news that Kristian is staying with us at least until the end of 2022.
“It’s no coincidence that his arrival at the club 18 months ago has already delivered us a Grand Final victory over Wigan and our first Challenge Cup victory in 13 years.
“He’s undoubtedly improved mentality, as well as outcome, and the players have reacted really well to his leadership, management and coaching skills. There’s no doubt that Saints will continue to be more than a force to be reckoned with under his direction going forward.
“He’s achieved all this during a very difficult and prolonged period when he and his young family have been cut off from their families back home in Australia and have been deprived of normal interaction in society in their new home in England.
“Despite this, he has committed himself totally to the challenging task at hand and with deserved success and recognition. I can only thank him on behalf of all at the club for his dedication and success, and am very confident that more of each now lies ahead.”
Woolf, 46, arrived at the Saints from NRL side Newcastle Knights where he had been an Assistant Coach, and more recently interim Head Coach, following the departure of former Saint Nathan Brown.
He is also the Head Coach of International side, Tonga where he has improved the nation’s world ranking from 14th to 4th and guided them to the semi-finals of the World Cup back in 2017, defeating New Zealand along the way – the first time that a tier-two team had defeated a tier-one team.