Despite the absence of England prop star Alex Walmsley indefinitely, St Helens’ coach Justin Holbrook has said that there is no intention to bring in a new prop to fill the void left by the Dewsbury born juggernaut.
Explaining his intentions in the forward’s absence, Holbrook revealed that he is hoping for the young props in the Saints’ squad to step up, adding “We have young guys in Matty Lees and Jack Ashworth itching to get an opportunity so we are ok there.” The injury to Walmsley occurred in the recent match away to Warrington Wolves where he had to depart the play following an injury sustained in making a tackle. What was originally hoped to be a minor setback transpired to be a fractured bone in his neck. Speaking of the misfortune which befell his star forward, coach Holbrook explained “it’s a massive blow given that Alex is the best front rower in Super League.” However, he was at pains to confirm the player’s recovery is of paramount importance; “importantly, the news that Alex will make a full recovery from the injury is one we all welcome.”
Thus far this season, Luke Thompson has been one of St Helens’ star performers and Holbrook will be hoping that he continues to lead the line in the absence of his highly rated compatriot. Indeed, Thompson has been included in the England Knights squad so is clearly under international consideration. Alongside the likes of Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Zeb Taia and Jon Wilkin, Saints have a wealth of experience in their pack and the club will be confident of maintaining their strong start to the season despite Walmsley’s absence.