Saints fans anxious at facing next season with a side stripped of experience and character can relax a little as iconic hooker, Keiron Cunningham, confirms he will return for one more year.
After signing a final one year contract with his home town club, Cunningham stated:
“I’m feeling mentally and physically strong enough to play at the peak of my game for St. Helens for another season. I’ll then be looking to retire from playing but aim for it to be at the very top both for me and for the Club.”
A relieved Saints’ chairman Eamonn McManus added:
“This is a great boost for us. Keiron’s experience will be critical for us next season. He is already one of the all time greats of the Club and of the game and is key to the continuance of our success as a new generation of Saints players come through the ranks.”
The move is sure to ease some of the pressure on Saints’ coach Mick Potter, under fire from fans for the club’s vanilla football this season and rumoured to have upset more than one of the old-guard players.
“Keiron’s presence and experience are a priceless commodity for us”,
“He’s a privilege and a pleasure to work with as the Club Captain and it’s a big lift for us with the Play-Offs coming up that he’s committed for another year.”
With Dream Team hooker, Scott Moore, returning from a loan spell at Huddersfield and James Roby still in peak form, Cunningham may yet find a role at prop. Certainly his return will also be a boost for Saints number one prop, James Graham, who will now have another year to grow into the role of club captain, for which he seems born.
With injuries devastating the Saints forward this season Graham has been pretty much a one-man-show at times and the young prop will be hoping Potter and McManus can bolster the front row during the offseason.