Jonny Lomax has been backed for an opportunity with England this year by both his coach and one of his team-mates – with Keiron Cunningham calling him the best in his position throughout the whole of Super League.
Lomax has been instrumental for the Saints during their run to securing a top-four finish, having made 15 appearances since returning from a serious knee injury back in April.
And Cunningham waxed lyrical about the form of the 26-year-old following their 40-16 win against Castleford on Thursday, saying there’s no better fullback in the competition in his eyes.
“Jonny is the best fullback in the competition, hands down,” Cunningham said.
“I’m not just saying that because he plays for Saints; if he was playing for another club and doing what he’s doing now I’d say exactly the same thing.
“I enjoy watching my back three and we work exceptionally hard on them. Fullback play is so intense, it’s so hard to play because you’ve got to do absolutely everything.
“If you’re asking for a complete fullback, Jonny Lomax ticks every one of those boxes. He’s only going to get better.”
Cunningham also admitted that it’s even more satisfying seeing Lomax star after the horrendous two years he has suffered with injuries.
“It’s even more pleasing because of what he’s had to go through,” he said.
“He’s Saints through and through like me and he’s been through some dark days.
“There’s nobody prouder seeing Jonny do some of the things he’s done this year more than me. He’s deservedly called the best fullback in the competition.”
And Cunningham’s comments were echoed by Saints half-back Luke Walsh, who believes Lomax is more than capable of making the step up to the international arena.
“He’s so important for us,” Walsh told League Express.
“He’s a very smart footballer; he’s tough and he’s everywhere on the field.
“He deserves to be in the England mix, he wouldn’t look out of place in that shirt in my opinion. I can’t see why he wouldn’t be able to make that step up.”