Walmsley signs extension to 2026

St.Helens R.F.C. is delighted to announce that England international prop Alex Walmsley has signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the Club until at least the end of the 2026 season!

Alex Walmsley is proudly sponsored by Bespoke Funding Solutions.

Widely regarded as one of the best forwards not just in Betfred Super League, but in all-world rugby league, Walmsley has been an outstanding servant to the Saints over twelve seasons since joining the Club ahead of the 2013 campaign.

This contract extension will take the Saints’ number #8 into his fourteenth season in the famous Red V, and further cement his legacy as one of our club’s best-ever forwards.

The 6ft 5’ powerhouse made his St.Helens debut in a home fixture against Hull FC in 2013 and since then has gone on to make 278 appearances for the Club to date, scoring 51 tries for a total point tally of 204 so far.

As an integral part of the Saints’ success, ‘Big Al’ has earned; five Super League championships, four League Leaders’ Shields, a Challenge Cup, and a World Club Challenge – the latest trophy he has added to his astonishing record of silverware.

Personal honours also include six appearances for England, four for Great Britain, and four Super League Dream Team selections. As is expected in such an impressive player, plenty of interest from other clubs has been expressed to acquire Alex’s services, and this continues to be the case, but both the Saints and Walmsley have been keen to ensure his future remains in the Red V.

Alex Walmsley celebrating the 2023 World Club Challenge with all the Saints supporters who travelled over to watch the match in Australia

Speaking to saintsrlfc.com, Alex Walmsley spoke with happiness about extending his time with St.Helens for a further two years: “I’m really happy, it’s been something that’s been in the pipeline for a while so to get it finalised, sorted, and announced I’m pleased. I am happy and excited for the next two and a half years.

“14 years at Saints is a long time and I’ve had some fantastic times over those over the years so far, and I am sure there’s going to be some great times still to come.”

Walmsley is steadfast in his belief he still has plenty to offer the Saints, even beyond this new contract, and that the Club’s continued aims for silverware is one of the big factors why he wants to continue playing at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

“I signed professionally quite late, I didn’t come into the professional game until I was 22, and I feel like I’ve got a good few years left in me. I still believe when this contract’s up, I still think I’ll be in a great position to continue playing, but that’s something we’ll discuss further down the line. I know I had twelve months at Batley, but if I were to become a one-club man at Super League level, I don’t think there is any other club you would rather do it at than St Helens.

“Being at a club with the quality we have in our squad, we should be challenging for silverware. Anything less than that isn’t really an option, that’s a massive reason why I still want to be involved at Saints. I want to be part of successful teams, in finals and picking up silverware. There are high expectations on us, but those expectations can be met.”

Walmsley sliding in for his first try of the 2024 season

Walmsley remains one of Super League’s most fierce and feared forwards and plays a vital role in the side, and with some younger forwards also looking to make their mark he is excited to continue playing his big part, help blood in some of our younger talent, and be part of our leadership group too.

“While I’m laying that platform and doing what I have to do, it can only benefit the side. I don’t feel like I’m slowing up in that regard whatsoever, I’m lucky I’ve got some real good players alongside me, especially in the middle.

“We’re blessed at this club, what all great teams have is a number of leaders, not just one or two, we’re blessed to have so many, and we have a really good contingency of players outside of that leadership group who represent us as well and lead by example. We’re all here to help each other, to look after each other, and if necessary, help guide each other as well.”

Now being coached by a man he played alongside in Paul Wellens; Walmsley is thoroughly enjoying being led by a Head Coach who is one of the town’s proudest sons.

“Wello [Paul Wellens] is great, what you see in Wello as a coach is what you saw a player, he expects a lot, he demands a lot, but those expectations and demands come off his own merit; because he was willing to do all that. I think having someone who knows what the passion of the town is, he’s a local lad and knows what is expected by the town. He brings that passion into training and into games, he’s hungry to see the Club be successful. It is not just about him being a coach, it’s about what he knows the town expects, wants, and needs. That passion feeds into us as players and hopefully, we can represent that out on the field.”

‘Big Al’ celebrating a try in front of our away travelling supporters to secure a win away at Leeds in the Challenge Cup 2024

In a final word of gratitude to the St. Helens fans, ‘Big Al’ shared his adoration for the loyal support and closed by saying: “Thank you for your support ever since I signed, I’ve felt that the warmth of the St Helens people and the Club.

“I’m from a similar town in Dewsbury, a working-class town and coming to live in another working-class town and being supported by those people, I know they’re the best people in the world. Ever since I’ve been here, the fans have supported me, you’ve backed me when I’ve gone through tough times. Thanks for everything over the last eleven and a half years, I’m sure that backing won’t change in the next two and half and I’m truly grateful for the support, hopefully I can do you justice.”

Paul Wellens, Head Coach of St.Helens R.F.C. is thrilled the Saints have retained the services of Walmsley for a further two seasons, telling saintsrlfc.com: “Alex has been a fantastic story ever since he came into the Club, his journey wasn’t the conventional one through an Academy system, he played university rugby and then joined Batley before coming to St.Helens. He is a shining example for players who don’t go through the youth systems that there is still another path. Since joining us he has been nothing but exemplary in everything he has done, a real talisman and a huge reason behind the success we’ve had in our recent history.

“When teams plan to play against St.Helens I would invariably think that Alex Walmsley gets mentioned in most team meetings because of how unique he is, how destructive he can be. We work with Alex day-to-day, and he is a diligent and caring person, who looks out for his teammates. Everyone has a huge amount of respect for him as a person and not just as a player.”

Walmsley bringing the Challenge Cup into the changing rooms at Wembley in 2021


Alex Walmsley was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and began his rugby league career playing initially in the amateur divisions for community club Dewsbury Celtic and then his university side at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Showing promising signs as an emerging talent, in 2011 the towering prop won the National Conference League’s Player of the Year award and quickly got signed up to play in the Championship in 2012 at Batley after impressing on trial. He would have an impressive season with the Bulldogs, winning the club’s Player of the Year accolade and earning the Championship Young Player of the Year award too.

St.Helens saw the promising future with ‘Big Al’ and signed him up from the 2013 season onwards and he would make his Super League and Saints debut in February that year (Heritage Number #1201). It did not take long for Walmsley to establish himself as a premier front-rower, and in 2014 he was part of the Red V side that beat Wigan at Old Trafford in the Grand Final for his first of five Super League titles.

In 2015, his impressive rise continued and saw him named in the Dream Team for the first time and shortlisted for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award too. He continued proving in the following years that he was one of the world’s best at scattering defences but in 2018 he suffered a career-threatening injury to his neck, ruling him out for most of that season.

Following tremendous hard work on his rehabilitation, Walmsley shone brightly in 2019 and was a big factor in the Red V’s return to Old Trafford and win his second Grand Final match – the first of a historic four-in-a-row that St.Helens would achieve between 2019 and 2022, with Walmsley playing a big role in each campaign.

2021 was one of Walmsley’s best seasons to date as the Club ended a thirteen-year wait to lift the Challenge Cup trophy at Wembley, and then in 2023 Walmsley ticked off every bit of club silverware there is to win by winning the World Club Challenge by beating the Penrith Panthers in Australia in a seismic moment in the sport of rugby league.

Now in his twelfth season with the Saints in 2024, Walmsley’s determination to keep adding accolades to his already remarkable list of achievements sees him sign a two-year extension, keeping him a Saint until at least the end of 2026.

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