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Boom, Boom, Boom....Kyle Amor makes a big impression at Saints
Off season focus on the Saints’ clutch of new boys focused largely on the two high profile recruits from the NRL – Mose Masoe and Luke Walsh.
But in the early absence of the Smiling Assassin through injury, it is another member of the club’s new heavy artillery that has quickly won over the hearts of the Saints fans.
The sight of big, bearded Cumbrian prop Kyle Amor hurtling himself at the line like a re-enactment of an episode of 80s children’s cartoon Captain Caveman has rapidly earned the appreciation of the fans, who have warmed to his all action style and handed him the ‘Boom, Boom, Boom’ song in appreciation.
Amor has been effective and industrious too at both ends of the field, and is as likely to put his hand up for a hard carry clearing the line as he is at the other end of the field when a try is in the offing.
The conclusion of his first quarter stint last Thursday underlined that when, with a sub prowling the touchline and the instruction that it was time for Amor to take a breather, the former Wakefield prop clearly indicated one more carry – and he duly obliged!
That strong work ethic will take him a long way, but he knows only too well that is what is required at Langtree Park, given not only the weight of expectation but also the competition for spots.
Amor said: “There are no guarantees that you are playing or starting – and that is a good thing.
“When I was at Wakefield there were only five or six props there and so you kind of knew that if you had a scratchy game you would still be playing the week after.
“But here – no chance! The coach has already put his marker down to say: ‘It doesn’t matter who you are, (if you don’t perform) you are out. That makes us all pick up the work in training, and that gets transferred into the game.”
As a starting prop, Amor is tasked with meeting fire-with-fire and helping set down the marker for the game.
But he has added to his portfolio by nabbing tries against Warrington and Salford, and teeing up one for Jon Wilkin in that last run out.
Amor is the only one of Saints’ new front rowers to have played so far, with injury stopping Masoe and Richard Beaumont from making their bows.
But after all the talk about how chairman Eamonn McManus backed Nathan Brown’s judgement in beefing up the pack, it is now up to those wearing the jerseys to live up to the billing.
It has been a case of so far, so good, but the front row of contrasting skill sets, shapes and sizes are under no illusions that they have to keep coming up with the goods.
“It’s massively important for us to give a good platform for the Luke Walshes and Jonny Lomaxes – getting a platform for Robes to go too,” Amor said.
“That is our job, our bread and butter, and that is why we were brought here. It is what we, as a group, will try to do.
“We all have different attributes – we have big units, athletic players and impact props.
“That is what is exciting a lot of people – it is a good mixture of players.”
On early showings, Amor looks as though he has nailed down that role as a starting prop – something of a problem position for Saints since the departures of James Graham and Jason Cayless.
It is a challenge that the 26-year-old former Leeds and Wakefield packman is relishing at this stage of his career.
“I have been learning my trade for a couple of years – front row is not a position you learn overnight. It takes a lot of games and a lot of experience to be a good one.
“I am still learning and just happy to be in the 17 if I can be. If he wants me starting or off the bench I will give 110 per cent for the cause – that is the marker at this stage of my career.”
Born in Whitehaven, Amor joins a long list of big Cumbrian forwards who have made their mark in the red vee – Dick Huddart, John Tembey, Peter Gorley and Jon Neill.
Illustrious footsteps they may be, but Amor is keen to make his own impression on the pitch.
He has certainly caught the eye of the fans – no doubt assisted by his image with his mop of hair and beard flying around on impact with every bone-crunching collision.
“I have had this hair for years,” he said. “It is more the beard that has grown, but once the heat comes around I will probably trim that a bit.”
The fans will just have to hope that there is no Samson effect once the clippers come out, because Amor’s strength in the middle could hold the key to ending the Saints trophy drought.