Saint Jack Welsby ready for any role as he aims to repeat Grand Final heroics

The King of St Helens is ready to rock Catalans and roll Saints to a record-equalling third successive Super League title.

But Jack Welsby – who earned his King nickname for his heroics in last year’s Grand Final – admits he’s still in awe of just being in the team.

The 20-year-old utility superstar said: “I sometimes have to pinch myself. To be named in the same bracket as these world class players is just amazing.”

Welsby may be naturally modest but there is simply no doubting his incredible impact on the team. Saints were locked at 4-4 with Wigan as the hooter sounded on last year’s Grand Final, with golden point extra time looking certain.

But Welsby was quickest to react when a Tommy Makinson drop goal attempt hit the post and he touched down to seal arguably the greatest ever Grand Final win.

The youngster was playing centre that day and this season has regularly filled in at full back, centre, wing, in the halves, loose forward and off the bench – excelling wherever he is put.

He said: “We’ve got a world class side so I’m just happy to be in the team, wherever they want me to play. Last year’s Grand Final was brilliant and it’s nice to be recognised for what I did but I don’t feel like it’s heaped extra pressure on me.

“I just look to do the best I can every game and I’m more excited than nervous about this year’s final because there will be fans in this time. Last season was weird without them.”

Saints will join Leeds Rhinos as the only team to win three successive Grand Finals if they beat Catalans at Old Trafford on Saturday. Welsby added: “We spoke about doing it at the start of the season and we know what a big achievement it will be if we manage it.

“Winning the Challenge Cup final this year, with our fans there, meant everything and our home coming celebrations will live in my memory for ever. But we really want to win the Grand Final for them too. We want to be recognised as a truly great team.”

Saints will have to be on high alert against a Dragons side who pulled off a sensational backs-to-the-wall victory over them at Magic Weekend last month. Catalans trailed by 18 points with four minutes left but went on to win 31-30 in extra time to seal the League Leaders Shield.

Welsby added: “What happened at the end was heartbreaking but it’s probably given us the kick up the backside that we needed. The negatives of the game are pretty obvious, losing like that, but there were plenty of positives too.

“Full credit to Catalans and it was absolutely amazing what they did. Catalans doing so well is great for the game but if we lose I wouldn’t care about that. We are very single-minded about winning. If we lose I’d be pretty distraught.”

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