THERE may not have been many ins to go with the outs, but Saints boss Justin Holbrook says his squad will still have to be on their toes to keep their spots.

Tommy Lee, Matty Fleming, Jack Owens, Calvin Wellington have moved on, with Jonah Cunningham and Ricky Bailey heading to Leigh on a year-long loan.

The only player coming in from outside is former Bradford Bulls second rower James Bentley, but Holbrook said those pushing from within will make it feel like four or five new players in the mix.

Explaining why there had been no wholesale changes during his first off-season Holbrook said: “No one was off contract anyway so it was not like I could make a lot of changes.

“And when you think about it we were only 30 seconds off making the Grand Final last year.

“I was really happy with the way we finished the year.”

He expects big years from some of the younger players who have pushed into the first team squad.

“Matty Lees will be pushing for a spot, as will Jack Ashworth and Matty Costello.

“ And we have brought in James Bentley from Bradford, the player of the year in championship.

“Then, of course, there is Ben Barba who only played at the end of last year, so that is five guys who could feel like four or five changes as the season goes on.

“They are all playing for spots and nobody’s position is really safe. That is a healthy thing.

“The players realise that if you train hard and play well you will be in the 17, but if you don’t you wont be. Nobody is safe – if you perform you are in.”

A big break-out season is expected of 22-year-old Jack Ashworth, whose development has been hampered by a series of injuries this past two years since first breaking into the side in 2015.

He scored twice in six appearances in 2016, but failed to make the first team last term but did feature in the reserves.

Although he started his Saints career as a centre and back rower, Holbrook sees the Rochdale young gun as a front rower in the making.

Holbrook said: “I have a lot of time for Jack – he is a great build, he is fast but he is someone who has had a couple of disruptive seasons.

“He has got to work hard this time of year, which is great for individuals to get things right and he is probably top of the list in that area.

“He has got a real good shot at trying to force his way into the side but he has got to do everything right and leap frog people who are already there.

“I am sure he will do his best to do that – as will Matty Lees.”