James Bentley has impressed in recent weeks when given the chance in the Saints first team and our versatile youngster admits he is just happy to play ahead of another potential starting berth against Hull FC on Friday.
Bentley scored the match winning try – his first in the Betfred Super League in the dramatic late win over Salford back in May and impressed in at hooker after Aaron Smith was stretchered off after just three minutes of Saints’ win over Warrington last week.
“It was a bit of a shock when I saw Az [Aaron] go down and I was told to get ready and I thought ‘oh I am going on here’. I wasn’t expecting to play so many minutes, but it was great to get that time and experience on the pitch and I really enjoyed it,” said Bentley.
Bentley grabbed his first Super League try in the late win over Salford and he admits he will remember it for a long time to come.
“It was a special moment [scoring the match winning try against Salford]. It is one I will probably remember for a while. It was my first Super League try as well also it was a special moment for me.”
Bentley has enjoyed spells in the first team playing in various positions having played hooker, second row and even centre and asked what his favoured position is, James said:
“I don’t really have one! As long as I am playing I am happy that is the main thing for me. I am only young so as long as I am playing, I am happy.”
Bentley has the fond record of never having lost a Saints first team game in which he has played and he will be hoping that run continues when he plays his part against Hull FC on Friday given Aaron Smith will not be fit enough to feature where he will test himself against one of the games best hookers in Danny Houghton.
“We were on about that the other day actually. My mum and dad were saying you have never actually lost for Saints and it is mad really, a bit surreal.
“I can’t wait to get out there and hopefully we get a few fans there travelling and it will be a great game. I am looking forward to going head to head with Danny Houghton, challenging myself and testing myself.
“They have obviously come off a defeat in the derby, but they have had a couple of good wins before that. They are a good team, they have big backs and big middles as well so it will be a good challenge for us but all the boys are looking forward to it.”
Next up for Saints at home is the derby with Wigan and Bentley hopes he will get another chance to shine when the Warriors come to town.
“Coming to Saints you always hear about the derby, talking around town and that so it’s another big game and hopefully I get to play in that as well.”
You can grab your tickets for Friday night’s clash as well as our derby clash with Wigan Warriors at the Totally Wicked Stadium in a ‘Bad Friday’ repeat online here by calling 01744 455052 or by visiting the Ticket OfYou cfice at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Tickets for Saints Coral Challenge Cup Semi Final against Halifax, Saturday July 27 (KO 4:30pm) at the University of Bolton Stadium, are also on sale by clicking here.