Jonny Lomax reveals agonising World Cup injury ordeal after St Helens’ world triumph


ST HELENS stand-off Jonny Lomax has revealed that he suffered an agonising off-season ordeal after being ruled out of the World Cup through injury.

Lomax was adamant after the 2022 Grand Final triumph against Leeds that he would play a role in England’s campaign. But when the tournament started, he was nowhere to be seen as he was ruled out by a bicep injury.

“It’s something that I still find really hard,” Lomax told League Express as the Saints bus prepared to leave BlueBet Stadium.

“The physical pain with the arm … something that wasn’t known is that I also tore my calf in the Grand Final. 

“I wasn’t completely aware of it (at the time) but I knew I was feeling pretty awful. I don’t know how long (I played with it).

“But basically, I went back to pre-season, went for a scan, came home and only started training again in January. When the World Cup boys returned, that’s when I started training. I had 14 weeks off. 

“People often don’t know what’s going on with the individual. They just keep seeing what’s going on the pitch, but for me it was very difficult. 

“I kept trying to find a way onto the pitch and it was affecting me. Being in pain made me a bit moody at home and I wasn’t happy to put the team through that.

“Honestly, (it was) so difficult to miss. I found it really, really difficult. It’s something that still hurts me now. Missing it killed me, although I knew my body was in a bit of a mess.”

Lomax was in an emotional and expansive mood after the best win by a British team in 29 years.  Asked what he would remember from Saturday night’s 13-12 World Club Challenge win against Penrith, Lomax answered: “Hard work, proving doubters wrong…

“It’s been a recurring theme with us for a while. People always want to talk about other generations.

“I spoke about it last year on the back of the semi-final and the Grand Final: all we want to do in this group is keep earning more respect from each other.

“If we do each other proud, generally, it will stand us in good stead.

“And we’ve done that again tonight. We’ve had to work very hard for it and we’ve come away with a result that nobody thought was possible, aside from us on that bus.

“Life brings about these moments and opportunities. What we’ve learned over the years is that we don’t want to let them go. When they come, we’re going to try and do our best to take them.”

Told of former coach Kristian Woolf’s contention that no-one could deny Saints are the best team of the summer era, Lomax responded: “Opinion’s opinion. Opinions will always continue. The opinions that matter to me and matter to the boys on that bus are the opinions that are sat on that bus now.

“The opinions of people that I see as family, friends, people I’ll speak to for the rest of my life … someone like James Roby, who I believe is the best that’s ever done it in Super League, definitely.

“This is his 20th season … I’m going into my 15th or 16th. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with him for all that time. If he’s got a good opinion of me, then that makes me more than happy.

“Whatever’s on the outside, we’ll just keep trying to prove people wrong.”