Ste Leonard continues our countdown to this year's Academy Tour of Australia with reflections of 2009.
“The Tour saw the emergence of Tommy Makinson, Josh Jones, Jordan Hand and Joe Greenwood. The story of the latter is one of real inspiration to all our young players.
“Joe, who hails from Saddleworth, was an unsigned player who came into the Australia squad late in the day. He was under no illusions that he was going to have to work tremendously hard when out in Australia but set out as soon as we set foot in Sydney to impress every coach on the tour with his attitude, hard work and performances in the games. Needless to say the club didn’t waste any time after touching down in Manchester in securing the services of Joe for the future years.
“We also saw Anthony Walker, Carl Forster, Nathan Ashe and Scott Hale play too alongside a number of players who have appeared at other levels of our game.
“The tour was also to see the first defeat of a touring side when we lost to Cronulla Sharks by 34-20 in sweltering heat. In true Saints’ spirit the squad dusted itself down and went into the last game with the Penrith Panthers with nothing but a win in their minds.
“The outcome was one of the finest games of our trips to date with a hard earned win by 16-10.
“The tour always concludes with an awards ceremony back at base at the foot of the Blue Mountains – the winners were Carl Forster, Anthony Walker and Nathan Ashe who all went on make first team debuts for the club.
“One of the highlights of the tour has to be Mike Rush’s encounter with what can only be described as a whopper of a snake making its way out of the mid-day heat under the sleeping quarters of the said Mr Rush.
“The scream was blood curdling and just when we thought he had got over his encounter with a quiet afternoon nap, he was cruelly attacked with a hose pipe brushing his cheek while he rested… Again he matched the scream to the same decibel level and from that tour to this he has never slept in the same room.
“The comment of the tour was moments after the snake was seen and Mike had set off on his Forrest Gump run away from the scene… one of the players asked which way was is the snake going Mike?
“To which he replied “you don’t think I’m bloody chasing it do you!”
“All great memories.”
1. Nathan Ashe
2. Marcus Baines
3. Adam Barber
4. Joseph Bate
5. Jordan Case
6. Liam Fishwick
7. Carl Forster
8. Jack Francis
9. Thomas Fry
10. Joshua Greaves
11. Scott Hale
12. Jordan Hand
13. Daniel Hunter
14. Thomas Johnson
15. Daniel Jones
16. Joshua Jones
17. Ben Karalius
18. Aaron Lloyd
19. Thomas Makinson
20. Jordan O’Neill
21. David Pike
22. Adam Tatlock
23. Daniel Wakefield
24. Anthony Walker
25. Callum Welsby
26. Stephen Yates
27. Joseph Greenwood
St Helens 18 v 6 West Tiger Cubs
St Helens 36 v 6 Balmain Tigers
St Helens 20 v 34 Cronulla Sharks
St Helens 16 v 10 Penrith Panthers