Simmons was a factor in joining St Helens - Flanagan

Mark Flanagan
Flanagan started his career at Bradford before moving to Wigan in 2007

New St Helens signing Mark Flanagan says that working again with Saints coach Royce Simmons was a factor in him joining the club next season.

After agreeing to return to English rugby next term after two years with Wests Tigers in the NRL, Flanagan admitted: "It seemed quite a good fit.

"After a good season with Tigers last year, I've not played much this year.

"With working with Royce Simmons at the Tigers, and looking at home, St Helens seemed to be a good opportunity."

Flanagan told BBC Radio Merseyside: "Wth my contract coming to an end with the Tigers I started looking around at opportunities elsewhere, where I'd be getting regular first team action."

Oldham-born Flanagan, 23, played for local rivals Wigan before moving to Australia for the 2010 season to join Wests Tigers, where Simmons was assistant coach.

But, after signing a two-year deal, he believes that Saints could be on the verge of winning trophies again.

"They've always been one of the big clubs back home in England and had a great culture of winning stuff," said Flanagan. "It just seems to be a club that's going places.

"Some of the signings they've made next year, with Anthony Laffranchi and Lance Hohaia, and with some of the players they've got on the books there, they seem to be going in the right direction."

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