Saints want reserve games

St Helens CEO Mike Rush says the club would like to play some reserve grade fixtures next season despite not officially entering a side.

Like the majority of their Super League counterparts, Saints decided against running a reserve grade team in 2019, despite Rush insisting it should be made compulsory.

However, Rush said the club intends to arrange games as the season develops.

“We’ll definitely try to arrange some games with the likes of Hull and Wakefield, who have put big squads together and I’m sure will need some games,” he said.

“Even the likes of Wigan, who aren’t running anything officially but may want some games during the season, and the likes of Halifax, who traditionally put teams out, I’m sure we’d be keen to play them. But it all depends on how we’re travelling as well with injuries. We’ve got the smallest Academy squad we’ve had, deliberately, to try and get them all regular rugby. Until we get reserves back we wouldn’t take any more on.”

Rush was adamant, however, that reserves should be reintroduced immediately.

“Reserves is absolutely necessary, but it’s almost pointless unless every club is going to buy into it.

“Our stance is that we want it compulsory as soon as possible, and also we want 19s to become 18s and allow 16-year-olds to play in their first year. We sign kids and in their first year, they might play five or six games. They come off the back of playing loads in the community game to hardly playing. If that became 18s, far more would be playing.”

Meanwhile, League Express has learned the club could enter a dual-registration agreement with Leigh Centurions in 2019, although no formal agreement has been reached between the two clubs at this stage.