Holbrook undecided over whether Coote or Lomax will start season at fullback

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook has admitted he is still undecided over whether Jonny Lomax or Lachlan Coote will be his primary choice at fullback in 2019.

The Saints signed Scotland international Coote in what appeared to be a direct replacement for outgoing fullback Ben Barba.

However, Lomax has plenty of experience at fullback too, has retained the number one shirt in 2019 – Coote will wear 23 – and played there for England in the recent autumn internationals against New Zealand.

And Holbrook admits he’s still yet to make his mind up over who will play fullback – with Coote’s versatility at half-back also adding to his dilemma.

“I honestly still see Jonny as both a half and a fullback,” Holbrook told League Express when asked where Lomax’s best position was.

“I don’t think he necessarily has to be locked into one role or another, to be honest. I’m not sure whether he’ll play there (fullback) yet – but he is equally as good at one as he is at six.”

On Coote, Holbrook said: “He’s played a lot in the halves himself growing up. We’ve got a couple of options there, so we’ll see how things pan out.”

Holbrook also admits that despite falling short in the play-offs for the second consecutive season, he believes his young squad will be much better for the pain of 2018, when they were beaten by Warrington despite finishing clear league leaders in Super League.

“It was obviously hard to take, the way we finished,” he said.

“It was disappointing, but we’re past that now. I’m happy with the balance of our side, with the new guys coming in complementing what we’ve got.

“Young guys like Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth, Morgan Knowles and Regan (Grace) had real breakthrough years last year. They’ve had a full season under the belt and I think they’ll be a lot better for it, for sure.”