Loyalty behind Makinson’s decision to snub NRL and stick with St Helens

Tommy Makinson has admitted he held ‘pretty serious discussions’ with a number of different clubs about moving to the NRL in 2020 – but says a desire to win trophies with St Helens and repay the faith shown in him by the club convinced him to stay.

The Saints announced last week that Makinson had agreed a new four-year contract with the club, meaning he will remain a St Helens player until the end of the 2022 season.

The deal means Makinson will not, as had been previously reported, be heading to the NRL next year – though he revealed to League Express it was a strong possibility at one stage.

“They were pretty serious discussions I had about going,” he said. 

“I’d never officially signed or was going to be signing, but there were different deals there for sure. I always said I wanted to go, but having a think about it, and sitting down with my family, the faith Saints have showed in me played a part.”

Makinson also admits that a burning desire to bring major silverware to the club at a time when the Saints appear on the cusp of an era of sustained success also played a part in his decision to stay.

He said: “Different things were happening, but it’s a pleasure to be a part of this club and seeing where it’s heading. It makes it easier to see other guys committing long-term, too.

“We’ve not done what we’ve set out to do in recent years and Eamonn McManus has put so much time, money and effort in, and I want to repay the club. I don’t want to look back and think I’ve been to the NRL, it’s not worked out for whatever reason and Saints have gone through a golden era. What I want more than anything is to bring silverware to this club.”

Makinson said the Saints’ stance on standing by him during his testing times with injury were also hugely influential in his decision.

He said: “When I was injured, they could have hung me out to dry – but they didn’t. They stuck with me, as they did when I was 16 and I was getting injuries then. They could have torn up my deal but they invested faith in me, and I want to repay that faith in them.”