Introducing your Saints Reserve team for 2020!

A number of new faces have joined the club ahead of the return of the Reserve grade competition which will return in 2020.

The Reserve Grade competition will be relaunched in 2020 after 11 English Betfred Super League clubs approved a proposal for all Super League clubs, and clubs with Category 1 funded Academies outside Super League (Widnes Vikings and Bradford Bulls), to have a mandated reserve team.

The Academy becomes an Under-18s competition for 2020 rather than Under-19s and a number of Saints Scholars have moved up to the U18s side ahead of next season.

Saints Reserves for 2020 will be coached by First team Assistant Coach, Ian Talbot with former Saint Tommy Marytn assisting him.

Meet your Reserves team for 2020:

Paul Crook

Paul Crook, 33, will be joining the reserves in both a playing and coaching capacity in 2020. He will join the staff as one of the assistant coaches, but also be available to play alongside our up and coming talent.

Paul, hailing from Blackbrook, played for Saints Academy before making a career for himself at clubs including Widnes, Doncaster, Swinton, Rochdale, Whitehaven and most recently Oldham where he was a major part of last seasons promotion winning team.

Alex Eckley

Alex signed from Pilkington Recs as a prop forward at the age of 14. After touring Australia with the Academy he signed a 2 year contract and in his first year helped the Academy to a Grand Final win.

From there he had another two seasons in the Academy before moving on and signing for North Wales Crusaders and representing England Universities, winning the Student Four Nations whilst playing for Liverpool John Moores.

After the season finished with Crusaders Alex was offered the opportunity to return to the Saints and he jumped at the chance.

Ben Davies

Ben is from Widnes. He played his community Rugby for Halton Farnworth Hornets before switching to Widnes Moorfield. From there he signed a scholarship deal at Widnes Vikings, playing in their Academy and making his first team debut in 2019.

Ben represented Lancashire in the Academy origin programme and was part of the England Under 18’s Academy squad.

Mike Weldon

Mike played for Blackbrook, winning national and regional titles before joining the Saints Scholarship programme and progressing through the Academy system enjoying a Grand Final win and unbeaten season in his second year.

He went on to captain the team in the final year and after a year out the game he signed for Sheffield Eagles debuting in the summer bash against Barrow before moving to Rochdale Hornets the following season. He has since returned to the Saints ahead of the Reserve campaign in 2020.

Sam Royle

Sam is a second row from Thatto Heath who he played for from the age of 11. He signed for Saints Scholarship shortly after and progressed through the pathway. He won the Scholarship Player of the Year award in just his second season before moving up to the U19s.

He played for the Academy for three straight years and also represented Lancashire on three occasions against Yorkshire and the Aussie Schoolboys. Sam captained the side in 2019 all the way to the Grand Final and his impressive form was rewarded as he picked up the Saints U19s Player of the Year award at the club’s annual awards dinner. He will take his place in the reserves in 2020 as he continues his progression whilst studying at University.

Paul Nash

Paul, a hooker, played rugby at Clockface Miners for a year before moving to Blackbrook Royals where he played for eight years. When in the Under 15s, he signed for Saints Scholarship and in that same year he represented England Youth against Wales.

A year later he played for England again against France before signing for the Academy in 2017 and was another Academy product who was part of the team that made the Grand Final in 2019.

Kye Siyani

Kye is another product of the U19s and is a prop who played at Blackbrook all the way through to Under 16s. At Under 15s he signed a scholarship deal with Saints for two years before signing for the Academy.

Kye helped the Saints reach the semi final in his first year and went one better playing a big part in their road to the Grand Final in 2019. He will now continue with the club in the reserve programme.

Owain Abel

Owain signed for Saints part way through the 2019 season after impressing for his club, Pilkington Recs.

He was another who became an integral part of the Under 19’s team who reached the Grand Final. Owain has also represented his country, playing for the England Lion Hearts team that toured Jamaica.

You can view the Reserve team here. A number of first team players who don’t make the first team matchday squad on a weekly basis will also play for the reserves in 2020.

A number of our Scholarship side have made the jump up to the U18s ahead of next season too and you can meet them here. 

Reserve grade rugby back for 2020

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