ENGLAND prop Alex Walmsley has committed his future to the club by signing a contract extension which will take him up to the end of the 2024 Betfred Super League season.

The power behind the Saints pack, the side's go-forward comes off the back of Walmsley's relentless hard carries.

The big man has been a key component of the club's success since initially joining on a three-year contract back in 2012.

A relative late starter when he joined up from Batley Bulldogs, Walmsley was something of a rough diamond as he took his first steps in the top flight.

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But the 30-year-old has become Super League's top prop in that time, overcoming an horrendous broken neck injury on the way.

Walmsley, said: “I am really happy and I am delighted to get the deal done and commit my future to the Club. I have been here since 2012 and the 2013 season and I have loved it.

“The Club and the fans and the town have been so good to me and it is my new home. I have loved playing for St Helens and the whole Club. It was so easy to commit my future to them and hopefully I can end my career here.

"My current deal takes me until the end of 2024 but I still feel I have a lot of rugby left in me and this is the place I want to finish my career at.

"The plan is to have a successful next few years and hopefully leave an impact on the Club in what will hopefully be 12 years of service.

"I am excited to be a part of what I am sure will be a successful few years for this Club.”

It has been a jouney for Walmsley, who  helped Saints win the Super League Grand Final in 2014 and in 2015 he went up another level, making more than 4000 metres – and he signed a new deal with the club.

He was stellar in 2016 and that continued in 2017 with England international honours.

After signing a new four-year contract in 2018 he sadly he suffered a neck fracture at Warrington, just five games in, and missed the full season.

2019 saw the big prop fight back and was a stand-out performer, leading from the front as Saints went all the way to lifting that famous Super League trophy at Old Trafford yet again.

He was also rewarded by representing Great Britain on their first tour since 2013.

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Last season was arguably Alex’s best in a Saints shirt. He powered his way into the Super League Dream team after an impressive 10 tries in 20 appearances and was often the key to our success in 2020.

And his strong form has been rewarded with a long-term contract extension.

Chairman Eamonn McManus commented: "It's a huge boost both to St Helens and to Super League that Al has extended his contract to the end of 2024.

"He's established himself as a potent force in our squad, and for England, and has been key to our success in recent years. It is great that he's now committed to us effectively for the rest of his career.

"Both his playing and leadership attributes are of equal importance to us and there's no doubt that he'll be a major and world class contributor to the performance of both club and country in the years ahead.

"It's great news indeed to start the season with."

Head Coach Kristian Woolf added: “Alex is a terrific signing for the Club. He has been a real leader in terms of our pack well before I arrived here, but was certainly that leader for us last season. I am looking forward to him being that for us this season too.

“He is a big part of our success and is a real leader within our group and particularly a leader of our pack and I think it is a real sign of what he means to this Club, but what the Club means to him as well in terms of him being willing to put pen to paper and extend his stay with us.

“There has been no inclination of him looking elsewhere or at other opportunities and he is St Helens through and through.

"This is where he wants to be and he is going to really leave his mark on this Club throughout the course of his contract.”