St Helens’ Contract Uncertainty: Head Coach Paul Wellens & Player Futures

Pivotal Contract Discussions Loom for Super League Champions St Helens

May 1st marks a pivotal time for Super League clubs, as players can now officially enter contract discussions with rival teams. However, for reigning champions St Helens, the most pressing concern is the future of their first-time head coach, Paul Wellens.

Wellens’ initial two-year deal is set to expire at the end of the current season, and the former Saints legend has now addressed the looming uncertainty surrounding his own contract situation. Ahead of his side’s trip to Hull KR on Saturday, Wellens confirmed that no formal negotiations have taken place yet. “I haven’t held talks yet,” he explained. “We’ll have to have that conversation and sit down at some point so we have some stability moving forward, but I’m very comfortable leaving those discussions for now.”

The Saints boss is not the only key figure with an uncertain future, as several high-profile players are also approaching the end of their current contracts. Among them is star winger Tommy Makinson, who is widely reported to be on the verge of a move to Catalans Dragons, with St Helens potentially looking to bring in Tom Davies as a replacement. Additionally, there are ongoing rumors surrounding the potential departure of promising young halfback Lewis Dodd, with South Sydney Rabbitohs heavily linked with the 22-year-old.

Despite the looming contract challenges, Wellens struck a measured tone when addressing squad-building, suggesting he is committed to the role beyond the 2024 season. “Our model is that we always want to retain our better players,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success in doing that and had a number of players who’ve been here a long time. We always try to retain, but should we have players that move on, as has happened in the past, and we have an adequate and suitable replacement in our club, then that’s great.”

With a total of eight players off contract, along with two more who have options to extend, St Helens have a significant task ahead to maintain the core of their squad that has delivered historic success in recent years. However, if Wellens’ astute tactical mind and leadership are retained, the future of the reigning champions remains bright.

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