St Helens coach Kristian Woolf is confident last season’s Grand Final hero Jack Welsby will make this year’s showpiece.
Saints tackle Catalans Dragons at Old Trafford on Saturday chasing a third successive Super League title, and their second under Woolf.
Talented Welsby scored a dramatic last-gasp try as Saints sealed an 8-4 win over arch-rivals Wigan twelve months ago.
The versatile 20-year-old had to leave the field appearing to clutch his upper arm during Friday’s 36-8 home play-off semi-final win over Leeds after taking a knock while making a tackle.
He returned during the closing minutes at the Totally Wicked Stadium, and Woolf admitted: “I was worried. Jack’s a tough kid and doesn’t come off too often, but it looks like he is fine.
“He obviously had a bit of a fright and had a bit of pain, but he is one of those blokes who would have to be pretty broken not to play in a Grand Final.”
While they have 15 titles stretching back to 1932, Saints have never won three in a row, and Woolf added: “It would be absolutely unbelievable.
“In today’s era, you have to invest so much energy and emotional effort and so much sacrifice to win a competition.
“To win it twice is incredible, because you’ve got to get yourself up and go and do that again.
“Now they’ve put themselves in a position where they can go on and achieve something special, but it’s certainly not done yet.”
Meanwhile, Saints have signed teenage utility back Daniel Hill from Widnes on a two-year deal.
The 19-year-old is a product of the Vikings’ development system, who made a try scoring debut in the Challenge Cup third-round defeat by Salford earlier this season and has totalled six appearances in all.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge of moving back into a full-time environment and learning from the best players in the league, which will hopefully improve my game,” he said.
Woolf added: “He is a guy with enormous potential. That was shown by the fact a number of clubs were interested in taking him on.
“Fullback is his position at the moment, but we see him as a player with some physical attributes who can be first-grade in the future and could also transition and potentially play some centre or even some wing.”
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