Knowles & Welsby named Vice Captains

St.Helens R.F.C. can now confirm that England internationals Morgan Knowles and Jack Welsby have been named as the Club’s new Vice Captains in support of Club Captain Jonny Lomax.

Morgan Knowles is proudly sponsored by Lancashire Fire Solutions, and Jack Welsby is proudly sponsored by ASW Solicitors.

Head Coach Paul Wellens has announced the news that two of Betfred Super League’s brightest and best talents will form part of his senior player leadership group.

With Lomax as Captain and now Knowles and Welsby serving as his Vice Captains too, our Club maintains a captaincy contingent of proud products of the world-renowned Saints Academy, and all three came through our youth system starting at Scholarship.

Both Knowles and Welsby are key men within the Red V’s First Team and have plenty of success on their records already, but like the entire Club have strong desires for more.

Speaking to about his two Vice Captains, Wellens said: “Here at St.Helens we’ve got a strong leadership group that have led the led the team so well for a number of years now, so when you’re making those choices it’s never easy because there are a number candidates – but in both Morgan and Jack I see two people who could potentially captain the Club in the future.

“I see two people who have enthusiasm and a work ethic, two people that have a huge amount of respect from the playing group. I know, having been the captain of the Club myself, you can’t do it all on your own and you need a good support network around you. In both Morgan and Jack, Jonny [Lomax] has got two people that he can rely on, but there are also a number of other players who haven’t been named in those roles, who will also provide strong support as well.”

Morgan Knowles commented on becoming Vice Captain saying: “I’m made up to be thought of highly at such a big club as Saints, I’ve been here a while now and it’s an honour, hopefully I can do it justice.

“Jonny is the right man for the job, he is a captain that I’ll follow and he’s inspirational both on and off the field. He leads with his actions, and I know it means a massive amount to him. There is nothing more that I’d love to see than Jonny lifting the trophy with a Saints shirt on his back and whatever I can do to help him and the group I’ll do.

“We all know how good a player Jack is and he has a massive influence on the team, even given how young he is. Some of the stuff that Jack does is just brilliant and he has definitely got the capabilities of being a great leader.”

Speaking about being appointed Vice Captain, Jack Welsby added: “I’m delighted, I just want to carry on playing good rugby and win things here, that’s my main goal and to support Jonny in his role – he deserves it, there’s a reason he’s captain and I’m going to support him as best I can.”

“I think Morgz deserves it as much as anyone, if it wasn’t Jonny as Captain, for me, it was Morgan. I think he is very similar to Robes [James Roby] in a lot of ways that he does his talking on the pitch, but when he does say something he’s very much heard. I’m very glad that to be Vice alongside him and I know he’ll do a good job of it as well.”

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Morgan Knowles first joined the Red V from Barrow Island at Scholarship in the Under 15s and demonstrated an incredible commitment travelling from Cumbria for training sessions. His progression saw him move into the Academy and making his senior Club in 2015, as well as his international debut originally for Wales.

2016 was a breakthrough season for Morgan, becoming a First Team regular and showcasing his ability across the pack and nailing down the loose forward and #13 shirt in the years to come. The first of his four Super League titles to date came in 2019 and he would prove to be vital to the Saints’ success as the Club won four Grand Finals in a row.

‘Morgz’ has also three League Leaders’ Shields, a Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge to his name, and has been selected four times in the annual ‘Best Of’ Super League Dream Team too. To date he has six England caps, the first of which came in 2021, a year later he was part of the England Rugby League World Cup side, and then last Autumn he was part of England’s series win over Tonga.

Jack Welsby also joined the Red V at Scholarship and progressed up into the Academy and got his official St.Helens debut in 2018. Since then, he has quickly shot up the rugby league ladder to become one of, if not the, hottest properties in the sport. The Club was delighted to confirm back in December that Welsby had put pen to paper on a contract extension, keeping the fullback with Saints until at least the end of 2027.

Welsby has already earned an incredible amount of silverware at the Saints with; two Super League Young Player of the Year accolades, three Dream Team selection, three Super League titles, two League Leaders’ Shields, a Challenge Cup, and a World Club Challenge on his record, all before even reaching his 23rd birthday.

To close out last season, Jack became England’s youngest captain at just 22 years of age, leading out the national side in the opening two Tests against Tonga which England won, and featured in the third and final Test to complete a series whitewash and bring him up to nine caps so far for his country.

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