Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Brown backs Wellens to adapt to his new role
SKIPPER Paul Wellens will use his natural skills and steely competitive edge to adjust to life away from the full back role that has been his own for 13 seasons.
That is the view of Saints boss Nathan Brown after taking the big decision to move Jonny Lomax in at number one after initially covering Wellens’ absence with a calf injury.
Although one the club’s all time great full backs – winner of the Man of Steel, Lance Todd Trophy and Harry Sunderland in that position – Wellens will now have to adapt his skills to another post.
However, it is a transition that Brown has every confidence in Wellens to make.
He said: “Wello has been one of Saints’ greatest players in the history of the club – and all great players have an ability to compete hard.
“Wello competes hard – that is just his nature and in making the transition he will just have to play like Paul Wellens and he will be fine.
“Paul has a certain set of skills that he will use. He is not going to play like Anthony Walker does, who has been playing well at loose forward.
“Wello has a different skillset.
“He adds a little bit of balance to our team because he can play full back and Jonny can move to halves if we get injuries and that will help the team as well.
“Paul has played numbers of positions – and has played at hooker, too.
“His competitive nature will see him do well wherever he plays.
“Wherever he plays he will make a real fist of it.”
Although Lomax has shone in his three games at full back so far, his coach expects life to get tougher for his new number one the more the opposition scrutinise how he plays.
But, on the flip side of that, he expects Lomax to continue his improvement the more he gets used to the role and has been particularly impressed with his defensive work.
Brown said: “One of the big challenge for any coach is putting players in their right position and I think in Jonny’s case in this team it definitely seems to be full back and that suits him.
“Everyone would agree that he was the best player out there on Friday.
“People have looked at his attacking play, but the defensive part is the hardest for a full back to pick up.
“He had four try savers the other day. He has picked up his positional sense and the way he is organising his line a lot quicker than I thought he would have and has done that really well. The attacking part was always going to be second nature.
“He will get better there but it will get harder for him as the opposition study his game.”