LANCE Hohaia is relishing the opportunity to play alongside Luke Walsh this season.
The Kiwi is in his third season at the club and believes the strong squad assembled at Saints is the best yet.
But that means nothing unless they perform.
“Pre-season has been really tough and a lot of hard work has been done by the boys,” he said. “This time of year is about getting ready both physically and emotionally and we went through some tough sessions in the run up to Christmas.
“Now we are working on teamwork and finalising our game plays too. Then it’s about getting into the trial games and putting into practice what we have been working on.
“Browny (Nathan Brown) and I have been working on me playing six this year – we think that is the best thing for the team at this stage. There was uncertainty about where to play me last season but when I was at 6 regularly towards the back end of the year I got some consistency.
“To do that regularly will suit the team and me. That’s not to say I won’t play in other positions, I’m happy to do that for the team if needs be, but I am focussing my energy and time on playing 6 with an eye on a few other positions if needs be.”
Lance will link up with Luke Walsh – a familiar foe from his time in the NRL.
“He’s an out and out half back and will be a great organiser of the team,” he added. “That is something we may have lacked in the past. He will take the pressure off me to do my best and play off the back of him. We understand each other’s game and will benefit working together.
“He is a clever player with a good kicking game and he is defensively sound for his size. He’s had a lot of influence on his previous teams and we can all add to that and help distribute the effectiveness of our team.”
He continued: “Every year the ultimate goal is to be involved in the big matches and win trophies. We have under-achieved in the last few years.
“The squad is the strongest since I have been here but that doesn’t mean anything unless we perform.
“The onus is on the players to perform consistently and the coaches are giving us a great back stop to work from. I am optimistic we can do really well.”
Saints will kick off their Super League season with a trip to Warrington on Thursday February 13 before the Langtree Park opener with Hull FC.
Tickets for what will be an exciting season are now on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.