2011: A Tour Of Success

THE 2011 squads produced the best ever set of results recording four victories, writes Neil Kilshaw.

In the process they amassed 112 points at an average of 28 per game, whilst conceding a total of 56 points at an impressive 14 per game average.

However, there was much more to this trip and I believe on this tour we took the most naïve (that’s putting it kindly) bunch of players.

Now I don’t want to name names so instead I’ll list some of the conversations and comments we heard:

  • “If there’s no kangaroos round here what do the lions and tigers eat?”
  • “Why is it called a set of six, when the referee only gives us five tackles?”

We had several players waiting patiently in a queue for ‘left handed paddles’, when Tommy Martyn gave them some advice!

And my personal favourite was overhearing this:

  • “There is no oxygen in the air.” (Naturally my ears pricked up, and the conversation continues…)
  • “You only get oxygen in an ambulance or at the dentist.”
  • (Then I piped up) “What do you breathe out then?”
  • (Reply was better than I could ever have imagined) “You breathe out photosynthesis.” (Where do you go from there?)

On a serious note performance wise the 2011 tour has really set the marker for future trips. We played against two very good sides in Cronulla and Penrith.

In Cronulla we kicked off at 3pm in searing heat and it’s testament to the physical conditioning and personal preparation of the players that we handled the conditions much better than our counterparts.

It’s now four-years since that trip and we’ve seen the emergence of Adam Swift, Mark Percival, Greg Richards and Luke Thompson into Super League Grand Final winners.

Alongside this Andre Savelio has just had an outstanding season by establishing himself as a Super League regular, and we have Lewis Charnock patiently developing his game.

This touring party has also seen Matthew Fozard, Dominic Speakman and James Tilley playing in Super League, whilst Alex Clare, Lewis Foster, Lewis Galbraith, Ben Parry, Greg Wilde and Danny Yates are plying their trade in the Championship, League 1 and Australian equivalents.

So whilst it’s difficult to truly say which tour has been the most significant for Rugby League given the merits of all the trips, 2011 will always be up there!”


1. Brad Ashurst
2. Chris Carr
3. Lewis Charnock
4. Alex Clare
5. Jack Connor
6. Mike Fields
7. Lewis Foster
8. Matthew Fozard
9. Lewis Galbraith
10. Jordan Heaton
11. Adam Hesketh
12. Corey Lee
13. Jack Jones
14. Ben Parry
15. Mark Percival
16. Greg Richards
17. Tom Roughley
18. Andre Savelio
19. Mike Scott
20. Nathan Skupski
21. Dominic Speakman
22. Adam Swift
23. James Tilley
24. Luke Thompson
25. Jamie Tracey
26. Chris Webster
27. Greg Wilde
28. Matthew Wood
29. Daniel Yates


  • St Helens 26 v 6 West Tigers
  • St Helens 36 v 14 Central Coast
  • St Helens 30 v 22 Cronulla Sharks
  • St Helens 20 v 14 Penrith Panthers

The Tourist’s View:

Alex Clare: “Being part of the undefeated academy side that toured down under was one of the best three weeks I have experienced to this date and a trip that I still remember fondly. Since then I had always wanted to travel back to Australia and now seven years later I’m back out here playing rugby league.

“The trip to Australia makes memories that will last forever so cherish them and make it the best trip you will remember.”

Andy McDonough, Physio: “Well what can I say about my experience with St Helens Academy tour to Australia in 2011?

“It is probably the best tour I’ll ever be on. You’ll never get a scenario were you’ll be able to play the top NRL sides and go through so many adventures in one trip. Treasure every moment of it, as in the future playing in pro sport or not, trips like this will not come around again.

“St Helens is special club. Its core values and what it stands for is why it makes it such a good club. That’s why this tour is such a success and why other clubs have failed. Remember that you are representing yourself, the club and most importantly your family. Make them proud.

“It’s a tough tour both physically and mentally so look after each other, both on and off the field.

“Some other small things to watch out for! Make sure you look under your mattress at night for snakes and spiders… No honestly, they are massive…

“If Derek is going on the trip do not sit beside him on the bus, he will go on and on about whale watching and how he was sure he spotted one in 2011.

“Best of luck with Killer’s recovery sessions and there is brownie points who ever makes the best brew for the coaches!

“Best of luck.”

Mark Percival, Dom Speakman and Alex Clare.

Greg Richards sizing up his shirt.

Andre Savelio in the drink.


Steve Leonard.

Adam Swift.

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