SAINTS boss Justin Holbrook paid tribute to prop Alex Walmsley for his contribution and sacrifice on Thursday.

Walmsley left the ground before the end of the Wakefield game after getting the call that his partner Simone had gone into labour - but he did not arrive in time to be at the birth.

Had he left earlier, or not played, Holbrook believes that Saints’ season would have been over.

Holbrook said: “I said to him that I don’t think we win without him.

“I have really got to thank his partner Simone because she started having contractions at 5pm.

“She could have easily rung him and said come home and he would have missed the game.

“We all know the result if we don’t win that game - the season has gone.

“She left it until the second half before ringing up. As it pans out, he passes the ball, to set up the try for Theo to score.

“We have got to thank Big Al, but his partner Simone for being so selfless to realise the importance and to let him play.

“That support for his job and sport - and I cant thank her enough.

“Obviously he would have loved to have been there for the birth, but it makes for a good life story in future when you arrive at hospital still in your full kit and meet your little baby Atticus.

“Winning made it all worthwhile – had we not it would have been a waste of time.”

Walmsley was one of Saints’ stand out players – and is still in the reckoning for an England call.