Saints add Academy duo to first-team squad

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf says hard work has paid off for hooker Taylor Pemberton and threequarter Jumah Sambou.

The Academy graduates have both signed full-time deals with the reigning Super League champions.

Leigh East product Pemberton, 18, was named in the first-team squad for the clash with Salford in September but didn’t make the matchday 17.

He has captained England Under-16s and Lancashire Under-18s and made ten appearances for Saints’ Under-19 Academy team this year.

Sambou, 19, whose younger brother Dayon has just joined the club’s Academy system, played his junior rugby at Woolston Golds.

He scored five times in as many appearances for the Under-19s this year, having featured twice for the Reserves in 2020.

Both players were included in the England national performance squad last year, having toured Australia with the club’s Academy side in 2019.

Also on that trip were backrower Lewis Baxter and fullback Jonathan Bennison, who signed full-time deals earlier this year.

Woolf said: “Taylor and Jumah have progressed through the Academy, so know what it means to be a Saints player.

“I’ve been impressed with their work ethic and commitment through a difficult 18 months.

“Both are athletic with a good skill set. They have trained with the first team and proved they can compete.

“Our Academy is renowned for giving young players an opportunity in the first team and they have the potential to be regulars in the future.”

Meanwhile Saints and Hull are among a string of clubs reportedly tracking Bradford prop Ebon Scurr.

The 21-year-old Academy product, who was a stand-out performer as the Bulls made the Championship play-offs, is out of contract at Odsal.

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