Five more Saints Scholars have signed Academy contracts ahead of the Tour of Australia and the 2020 season taking the total number of new Academy recruits to 15.
Joe Wood, Kallem Rodgers, Kian Naylor, Owen Blackwood and Rio Corkhill joined Ben O’Donnell, Cole Appleby, Daniel Ganson, Daniel Moss and Ellis Keppel to make the jump up from Scholarship to Academy ahead of next season and they will now be joined by Reece Sumner, John Bennison, Taylor Pemberton, Shay Martin and Ethan Bradbury.
Sumner played for Halton Hornets, Blackbrook and Widnes Moorfield throughout his junior development and attended Wade Deacon High School. He is a very strong carrying and fast second row who has played a very large part in the U16s team this season. Reece also had the privilege to represent England Youth in the two test match series against France and put in two excellent performances.
Bennison was on a scholarship at Widnes whilst playing for Thatto Heath. He had an excellent game against Saints U16s and was a stand out player for Widnes in their matches this season. John decided his future development lay with the Saints when he was given the opportunity to join the club as a part time professional player and we look forward to working with him next season.
Pemberton played for Leigh East and attended Lowton C of E and has played a real pivotal part in the U16s season. He has been the main organizer of the team whether playing at hooker or half back. Taylor had the great honour of captaining England in both tests against France which emphasis his great leadership qualities.
Martyn, the son of Saints legend, Tommy, has played for Thatto Heath and attended De La Salle High School. Shay only started playing at under 14s and has developed quickly to earn a Scholarship at Saints. He progressed and improved tremendously during the U16s games to earn a part time contract and a place on board the plane to Australia. Shay is a dangerous outside back who possesses great speed and footwork.
Bradbury played for Thatto Heath and attended De la Salle High School. Ethan was on a scholarship at Warrington, but when the opportunity arose he decided to switch to his home town club and has accepted a part time contract at the Saints. Ethan will also be going to Australia and will play in the U18s next year hopefully in his preferred position of hooker.
Saints Performance, Welfare & Education Manager, Neil Kilshaw said: “Once again I would like to pay thanks to all the community clubs, coaches, volunteers and schools who have helped these young players progress.
“We now have a total of 15 players who have signed Academy contracts which means we are in a strong position ahead of next year and it emphasises the strength of the club’s development pathway.”