The legacy of this side of St Helens now lies between the reigns of two of the town’s greatest sons.
The departure of Keiron Cunningham in 2017 and the arrival of Justin Holbrook sparked St Helens’ rise as they defied the odds to finish fourth that year and were one penalty away from the Grand Final.
Then in 2018 the dominance began as the Saints won a record number of games to finish top of the table but missed both major finals, which they would remedy in 2019 by winning a first major final in five years. .
Since then they have won three more to make four on the tour, added a third league leaders’ shield and a challenge cup, but one accolade remains to be taken by this all-conquering side who will now come under the reign of another St Helens legend in Paul Wellens who replaces Kristian Woolf at the helm in 2023.
This accolade is the best in the world for which they certainly have competition in the form of an outstanding Penrith side who have won the last two NRL Grand Finals and played in the last three.
It’s every rugby league fan’s dream to see these two meet and after both teams discussed a potential meeting after their respective Grand Final wins with Penrith boss Ivan Cleary saying even “let’s go”, the possibility expands.
Yesterday the possibility grew a little more like at his first press conference as St Helens manager Wellens confirmed talks were underway over the World Club Challenge in 2023: “The club are in discussions on the World Club Challenge and what it might look like It would be a fantastic opportunity to play against a fantastic team from Penrith, what a team they are.
“But what this team did not just last year but in previous years, they deserved this opportunity and we won as a club to do that.”