St Helens: Paul Wellens signs new deal with Super League champions

Nathan Brown and Paul Wellens
Paul Wellens (right) helped St Helens clinch their first Super League title since 2006 last season

Super League champions St Helens have agreed a new one-year contract with captain Paul Wellens.

The 34-year-old full-back led the club to a League Leaders' Shield and Grand Final double last season.

Wellens has spent his entire career at his hometown club, making 491 appearances since his debut in 1998.

"I'm in the latter stages of my career. With a good crop of young players my focus is on training hard and competing for a place," he said.

"With a World Club Challenge to look forward to, the new Super League format and a title to defend it is a very exciting time for the club."

Paul Wellens factfile
Born in St Helens on 27 February 1980
Made his Saints debut in 1998
Collected first Championship winner's medal in 1999 after a 8-6 victory over Bradford Bulls
After his Great Britain debut in 2000, went on to earn 20 caps, as well as 11 for England
In 2006 won Man of Steel, Players' Player of the Year, Rugby League Writers' Player of the Year and Saints' Official Player of the Year awards
Became joint captain in 2011 along with James Graham
Replaced Keith Senior as the Super League's record appearance holder in April this year
Appearances: 491 Tries: 230 Goals: 40 Drop goals: 1 = 1,001 points

During his 16-year career with Saints, Wellens has won everything in the game including two World Club Challenges, five Super League titles, five Challenge Cups and the League Leaders' Shield on five occasions.

The former Great Britain and England utility back is the holds the Super League record for the most appearances and has won the Man of Steel and Harry Sunderland Awards in 2006 and the Lance Todd Trophy in 2007 and 2008.

"He proved his versatility in our championship winning season by playing in many positions and performing at a high level," said head coach Kieron Cunningham.

"His commitment to the club is superb. He is the ultimate professional and that rubs off on all those around him.

"His strong and respected relationship with the players is evident by the fact he wants to help improve Jonny Lomax' game at fullback - the position he plays in."

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