Experience Counts

PAUL Wellens says Saints are more experienced as they prepare to start their Super League season.

Although former Captain James Graham has departed to Canterbury Bulldogs, the club has brought in three players with NRL experience.

And it’s those additions that Wellens reckons could push Saints one further than last season.

“As a club we have moved on from the Grand Final defeat now as there is no dwelling on it,” he said. “Our focus is on 2012 and we have shown as a group that we have no problem overcoming the defeats by performing well the following season to make it back to the final once again.

“We have a quality group of players and this season we can hopefully go one better.

“Losing someone of James’ calibre was a big blow but we have gained experience in Lance Hohaia and Anthony Laffranchi. They have massive experience and have represented their countries so I don’t think you can do any better than that.

“Mark Flanagan has gained experience from the NRL too and he is on the verge of playing international football too.”

He continues: “There was a lot of disruption with injuries at the beginning of last season and we had to blood a lot of youngsters. But you could see with Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell that they gelled midway through the year and we improved as they did that.

“They have that experience now and as we enter this year we have combinations that have played together and know what they need to do. They will be better two players in 2012.”

Wello is currently undergoing treatment as he recovers from an Achilles injury and is rated as doubtful for this Saturday’s trip to London.

“It is getting better and I am targeting this weekend’s game, but if I don’t make it I will be looking at the week after. I won’t play unless I am 100 per cent fit but I’m confident I will be ready for the early rounds. I am chomping at the bit to get back but have to listen to the medical staff. If it means missing a couple of games to play the rest of the season that’s ok.”

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