SAINTS boss Nathan Brown has the luxury of a full squad at pre-season training and has been making the most of it.
With no players on England duty, all players bar honeymooner Lance Hohaia are back in the fold and well into their preparation for 2013.
With Keiron Cunningham joined by former Huddesfield assistant Jamahl Lolesi in the coaching department, Brown is seeking improvement across the board from his squad.
However, the 39-year-old Australian does not believe the side needs radical surgery to bring home the silverware after a four year hiatus, but has highlighted areas for improvement.
Stating how impressed he has been with the attitude of the senior British players in the ranks, Brown confirmed that Paul Wellens will remain club captain.
Brown said: “There is no need to change the captaincy. Wello sets a great example there, but there are things that I’ll add to his leadership over this year which we will talk about.
“The greatest thing I have seen since I have been here is the best British players - the ones that have appeared in all the Grand Finals and played for England - are good people, great trainers, unselfish and you can’t beat that.
“Those players used in right way set a great example to the young ones and also to the overseas players.
“An international coming over from Australia seeing how James Roby trains and how Wello and Jon Wilkin come in prepared to train, on time and how they look after their bodies is an asset.
“You don’t do what this club has done for so many years if you are not doing things right.”
Some changes have been made with Brown explaining that Lolesi comes in to work on the outside backs, with Cunningham focusing on the play of the forwards and hookers.
The squad will train up until December 23 and then they are off for 10 days. When they return, with friendlies arranged with Huddersfield and Wakefield, the season will be upon us.
Having a full squad is a luxury none of Brown’s predecessors have had in recent years when Saints have trsditionally supplied big numbers of players to the national side – and Brown is keen to make the most of that.
“I feel very fortunate that I have been able to get my hands on them now – everyone’s trying to get that improvement. We figure if we can get improvement – even a small one – it will hopefully be enough to catch Leeds and Warrington because they are the teams that are winning the trophies.
“I feel lucky that I have six weeks with most of the squad which is a luxury blokes who have come into this job in the past have not had.”
Saints have seen Chris Flannery, Michael Shenton and Andrew Dixon depart, with Jordan Turner, Alex Walmsley and Willie Manu coming in to replace them.
He expects the new boys to bring some positive attributes to the club in 2013.
“Willie is a forward who brings a lot of attack to the table.
“He’s been playing for a long while and has a certain set of skills that can help this team move forward.
“Jordan is a good kid- a prototype outside back, 100 KG, good speed and athletic with good hands.
“Jordan is the sort of player we’d like to improve over next 6-12 months as an individual.”
The new boss is happy with the squad he has inherited and feels there is enough competition for places in each position.
“We feel have numbers of players in different positions that can put pressure on across the board.
“We have players like Lance who can play full back, cente half back or hooker – they are invaluable.”