SAINTS appear to have won the race to sign an emerging back-row forward.

James Bentley has been catching the eye of Super League clubs since bursting on the Championship scene with Bradford Bulls this season.

The 19-year-old has scored 14 tries in 21 appearances in his breakthrough campaign and has received glowing public praise from the likes of ex-Saints stand off Leon Pryce and former Leeds Rhinos centre Chev Walker.

Pryce described 5ft 9ins Bentley as the "best player in the Championship" after scoring four tries against Sheffield in April in a struggling team.

Bentley has been likened in style to a young version of John Bateman, another Bradford academy product now in Super League with Wigan Warriors and an England international.

Bentley's current terms at Odsal finish at the end of this season.

Saints coach Justin Holbrook is understood to have confirmed after the loss to Hull last night that Bentley will be wearing the red vee in 2018.