Ex-St Helens and Super League stalwart Willie Talau takes up top-flight coaching role

FORMER ST HELENS star Willie Talau is earning his coaching stripes as he looks to carve out a reputation for himself following his player career.

Talau, whose son Tommy currently plays for Wests Tigers in the NRL, was one of the most talented centres that Super League and St Helens has ever seen.

After 101 appearances for NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs, Talau made the move to Saints ahead of the 2003 Super League season – and it was a match made in heaven.

The New Zealand and Samoa international made almost 150 appearances for the Merseyside club over a period of six seasons, winning two Challenge Cups, one Super League title and one World Club Challenge before leaving for the Salford Red Devils in 2009, who were then named the Salford City Reds.

Talau scored four tries in 25 appearances for Salford before hanging up his boots at the end of the 2010 season.

Now, the 42-year-old is assistant coach to Anthony Griffin at the St George Illawarra Dragons, working alongside the brother of former Saints head coach Kristian Woolf, Ben Woolf after previously being the club’s Jersey Flegg coach.

Capped 13 times by New Zealand, Talau also made three appearances for Samoa in his later career.

Now he will be hoping to inspire the next generation at the Dragons in his role, as well as helping St George to a better season than the one suffered in 2022.