Woolf happy for Saints loanee youngsters

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf reckons all parties will benefit from young prospects Josh Eaves and Matty Foster being loaned to Leigh.

Saints might be giving a leg-up to a Super League rival, as are Warrington, who have allowed the new boys to borrow backs Nathan Roebuck and Tom Burnett.

All four have moved for an initial two weeks, the new minimum length of a loan introduced when dual-registration was dropped.

Hooker Eaves, 23, has made three appearances for Saints while second rower Foster, 19, has featured once.

Both came off the bench to face Leigh during Tommy Makinson’s testimonial match at the Totally Wicked Stadium earlier this month.

Foster represented England at Under-16s level alongside club-mates Jack Welsby, who scored last year’s Grand Final-winning try, and Josh Simm.

Both those two have made an impact at first-team level, and Woolf wants more of the club’s young guns to follow suit.

“Some young blokes put their hands up last year when the opportunity arose, and now we need them to play a bigger role when they do get a chance,” said Woolf.

“Jack Welsby has come back very impressively and trained with real confidence, and (halfback) Lewis Dodd and (centre) Josh Simm are in the same boat.

“(Loose-forward) Jake Wingfield has had a few injury problems, but has responded well and gone from strength to strength, and I expect him to feature some more.

“I am excited for both Josh Eaves and Matty Foster, who have the opportunity to play regular Super League games for Leigh.

“Both played very limited rugby in 2020 and this experience will help their development and they will become better players for it.

“Leigh are getting two really good players, so it’s a mutually beneficial deal for both clubs.”

Saints begin their Super League title defence against Salford on Friday (6.00pm), while Leigh face Wigan later that evening.

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