NEW Saints recruit Joey Lussick does not need any more reminders of the club’s pedigree of producing top-notch number nines for more than a quarter of a century.

The imposing figure of Keiron Cunningham, who bossed the dummy half role from 1994-2010, looks down in statue form from the corner of the Totally Wicked Stadium.

And by the time he hung his boots, his former understudy James Roby was more than ready to develop his reputation as Mr Perpetual Motion and turn the role into an 80-minute job.

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But with next year heralding the 19th and last for the inspirational skipper, the club dipped into the market to entice a quality nine with a proven track record to work alongside the skipper with a view to taking it over.

Saints have already had a good look at Lussick from his days at Salford where he helped the underdogs reach both the 2019 Super League Grand Final and the Challenge Cup Final the following year.

The 25-year-old arrives back from the NRL with a determination to make his own mark, putting the footsteps that he is walking in to the back of his mind.

“I guess there’s not much pressure, is there?” he laughs when the question of red vee hooking dynasty is raised.

“I have had a few people remind me that Saints have had Britain’s two best nines for nearly 30 years so no pressure at all.

“I am really looking forward to the opportunity the club have given me, and this year being with Robes and be able to pick his brains and watch the way he goes about things and embrace everything I can.

“Robes is still on his break and I have only just got here, but I am sure Woolfy will hammer out how it is going to work closer to the season.

“In the meantime, it is just head down and work hard and that stuff will come later.”

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Having played opposite Roby in the past and seen how he leads and works, on both sides of the ball, Lussick is relishing this next year alongside him in what will be the former Blackbrook Junior’s swansong.

“Everyone in the rugby league world knows what a career James Roby has had and what a player he is, on and off the field, and I am just going to trying to learn off him and anything he wants to help me with I will definitely take it in,” he said.

Lussick brings versatility, and although a nine he will put his hand up elsewhere in the halves or at loose if needed to fill that role.

It is rare that players return from the NRL once they go back – particularly when in the mid-20s, but he explained his reasons for swapping Parramatta for the Saints.

Lussick said: “It is pretty hard to say no to St Helens, particularly with the way the club has been performing and the direction they are going in.

“For me it definitely wasn’t a hard decision.

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“Every week you play St Helens you knew you were in for a game and the past couple of years you have just got to look at what they have been doing week-in, week-out.

“I knew the way of life, the lifestyle and how Super League is.

“Some guys may get a bit homesick or worried what they are coming to, so in that aspect playing here previously definitely helped. I enjoyed my time over in England and the way of life so that made it a lot easier.”

The 25-year-old NRL hooker landed in England on Wednesday and joined fellow new overseas signings Curtis Sironen, Konrad Hurrell, James Bell and Will Hopoate at training on Monday.

He got a good feel of the place, the training ground and got used to the voice of strength and conditioning coach Matty Daniels.

“It is good that there are a lot of new blokes starting back together, and it means that you are not the poor bloke by himself in the whole squad.

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“I have played against Konny (Hurrell), my family have grown up with Will Hopoate and I had a bit of time with Siro (Curtis Sironen) at Manly, so for me it is really easy.

“But saying that the club have been really welcoming as a whole and that has made us feel like we are not new players in the team.

“Will and Siro are class NRL players – Will is an international and early on Siro was on the cusp of rep football. Everyone will see them and the abilities they have to show

“Siro is a big body and very skilful with it, while Will has been class since he was 17 and came on to the scene and nothing has changed. I won’t say too much – they will just let their actions do the talking

“It is a quality squad and all of us new boys are just looking to put our best foot forward and add to the team in whatever way we can,” Lussick said.

Pictures: Copyright Bernard Platt.