SAINTS have announced that Paul Wellens and James Graham will captain the club in the 2011 season.
The duo will work in tandem throughout Super League XVI, utilising their experience to skipper the side before Saints move into their new stadium in 2012. Royce Simmons opted for dual captaincy as the role of leader both on and off the field has changed in the modern game.
“I know I am going against the tradition of what we’ve had over the past few years and I know that both James and Paul would have liked to been captain on their own, but it is a great honour for me to be in a position to name them both,” Simmons said. “They both typify what St Helens is all about and are passionate about the club.
“I have sat down over the last few weeks and thought about the role of captain in the modern game and it has changed a lot. There are a lot of promotional and media commitments as well as what happens on the field.
“My choice of captain on game day will come after discussions with both of them and we will split their off field commitments too.
“There might be a time when we are playing a big aggressive pack and will want to send our skipper out to meet them. Or, we could be playing a team that shifts the ball wide and we need direction from the back.
“Either way, we have direction from the back and in the pack and that has to be good for the club. The role will be easier than what people think.”
Paul Wellens said: “When I started out playing I wanted to play for St Helens but never dreamt I would captain the club. After a few years at Saints it was something I wanted to do and I have waited a long time to get that opportunity. I have played under some great captains and I am very privileged to lead out this great side.”
James Graham added: “I totally agree with Paul. This is the team I supported as a lad and when you consider the history of the club and the people that have gone before it makes it even more special. I have played with a number of great captains and I know we have big boots to fill.”