. World news – AU – Grand League Grand Final: Jonny Lomax of St. Helens wants to brag about the rights of old club colleagues


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Rugby league


Every year at the end of the rugby season, Jonny Lomax meets up with some old teammates from his youth who play for Orrell St James.

Covid-19 restrictions mean the annual reunification may have to be suspended in 2020, but if there is some way for everyone to come together – socially distant, of course – then the old ones are among the constant talking points over whether Wigan Warriors or St Helens are the superior team.

Unsurprisingly, Lomax is firmly in the saint’s camp – and not just because he plays for them. Although he was born in Wigan and played for one of the city’s amateur clubs in his youth, the heart of the English and British international has always been with the Red Vee.

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He was one of those in his divided hometown of Billinge who called St. Helens assisted and attended the town’s Rainford High Technical College, though Lomax recalls that even at Orrell, the allegiances were split in the middle.

« It was more 50-50 than you would have thought at the time, » Lomax said. « Obviously it was a team from Wigan, so it was a bit fun when it came to city teams.

« Maybe I should have gone to Wigan with my club, but I was in a St. Helens School, which enabled me to go to St. To go to Helens exams.

« When we went to the training sessions on Saturday morning after a game on Friday evening, there was always a bit of joke between the boys at a young age about who was better and a few arguments at the club.

« It was nice to have this perspective and a lot of friends from the amateur team that I can hopefully meet . . . and I’m sure there will be a bit of an argument about the two teams then. « 

Friday’s Super League Grand Final between the two old rivals may well regulate boastful rights one way or another, at least until the 2021 season begins, but the Saints would argue that they have the last 12 months in joining The season had the say battle at KCOM Stadium as the reigning champions.

The 2019 season was memorable for the club as they won the League Leaders’ Shield by an astonishing 16-point lead and achieved the perfect climax for Justin Holbrook’s two-and-a-half-year-old in the Grand Final against Salford Red Devils as head coach.

After Holbrook returned to Australia to revive the fate of the Gold Coast Titans on the NRL side, St. Helens to another antipode in the form of former Newcastle Knights assistant and Tonga national team boss Kristian Woolf.

Adrian Lam, James Roby, Sean O’Loughlin and Kristian Woolf on the rivalry between their clubs before the Grand Final.

Even though Wigan won the table spot award – deciding the percentage of points due to the season’s impact of the Covid-19 pandemic – there’s still a chance the Saints can make it again this time around. Back championships in Woolf’s first season, where Lomax revealed the subtle but effective changes he’s made.

« Kristian instilled what Justin did so you could enjoy what you were doing, » Lomax said. « We all enjoy rugby. That’s why we’re committed to getting you started regardless of your position in the game.

« The players all start out as fans, so you need to make sure you try to enjoy it. When you have this pleasure, it takes some of the strain off you when you play.

« He came with a tough mentality and we had to learn that. I think it’s something that we’ve been walking away from in the past few years and that we needed to get back.

« He taught us when to play and when not to play and he values ​​our defense. « 

A serious knee injury robbed Lomax of the chance to win the 2014 Grand Final in St. Helens against Wigan after the Warriors had triumphed over them at Old Trafford four years earlier.

{Do so against the Saints’ rivals at the end of a season that will go down in history.

« I was in the stands [2014] and it was pretty difficult to see, » said Lomax. « You want to take part in the big games, that’s why you play and what you dream of as a young lad.

Sean O’Loughlin from Wigan and James Graham from St. Helens are retiring after a stellar career following Friday’s Grand Final but are prepared for one final battle.

« It was difficult to miss one and I was fortunate enough to play in one last year – and to be on the verge of playing in another, albeit under different circumstances.

« In a way, it adds to the grand finale because I don’t think we’ve ever found ourselves in that position as a sport, and we may never find ourselves in that position again. « 

© 2020 Sky UK

Rugby League, Wigan Warriors, St. Helens R. . F.. . C.. . , Super League Grand Final

World news – AU – Super League Grand Final: Jonny Lomax from St. Helens wants to brag about the rights of old clubmates

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