St Helens' Jonny Lomax grateful for Simmons trust

Jonny Lomax
Jonny Lomax ran in seven tries in 24 Saints Super League games in 2011

St Helens scrum-half Jonny Lomax has paid tribute to coach Royce Simmons for keeping faith in him last season.

Lomax established himself alongside fellow youngster Lee Gaskell at half-back as Saints reached their sixth straight Grand Final.

"In my first game at half-back against Leeds, I was untried and untested and people were a bit worried," said Lomax.

"He showed the faith in me and Lee Gaskell throughout the season and we're both massively grateful for it."

After getting his chance due to a dreadful early season injury pile-up, Lomax ended up making 24 appearances, running in seven tries as homeless Saints finished third in Super League, before once again making it to Old Trafford.

They achieved that despite the obvious drawback of spending the season in exile at neighbours Widnes.

But, following Saints' return to pre-season training, and the exciting prospect of setting up at home at their new Langtree Park stadium in 2012, Lomax is now looking to contribute even further.

"Experience is a big help isn't it? I'm another year older, that bit quicker, fitter and stronger," last season's Super League Young Player of the Year told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"I'd like to hope I'll be pushing on this season and, with the pre-season we're doing, we're all working hard."