St Helens leading race to sign York starlet Joe Batchelor for 2019

St Helens are leading the race to sign one of the highest-rated prospects outside of Super League.

League Express can reveal the Saints are the frontrunners to sign York forward Joe Batchelor for 2019, with the club increasingly confident they have seen off interest from elsewhere.

At least half a dozen clubs were interested in the City Knights player, who has been a revelation for York in the last 18 months, which inevitably left him attracting plenty of attention.

But it looks as though the Saints could be the ones who sign the 23-year-old, prising him away from the highly-ambitious Knights.

Meanwhile, half-back Danny Richardson admits his first taste of an England camp last week will do wonders for him moving forward.

The scrum-half is a new face in the revived England Knights squad, with their fixtures for the end of the year set to be confirmed imminently.

And he told League Express that last week’s meeting between the Knights and the senior squad is the kind of things which will help ready him for any international honours he could earn in the coming years.

He said: “It was my first time I’ve ever been involved with anything like that and it was a great experience for me.

“There’s a couple of stars in this team, but you go round to the England meetings and theres even more.

“To be talking, learning and dealing with some of those huge stars, it will only benefit me. If I go on to play for England I’m sure things like last Monday will have done a great job in preparing me for it.”