SAINTS boss Kristian Woolf believes new signing Konrad Hurrell can bring “X-Factor” to the three-peat winning champions next season.

The powerful former Leeds Rhinos centre, who has won 11 caps for Tonga including the last two World Cups, links up with his national coach for 2022.

And Woolf knows exactly what sort of competitor he is getting from the former Gold Coast Titan, who was twice named the Super League Dream Team.

And he gave one explanation for Hurrell’s dip in form at the Headingley club last year.

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Woolf said: “Everyone knows ‘Koni’ is a great character and he has a terrific ability to enjoy rugby league and make the fans feel a part of the team.

“What I also know is he is a terrific competitor and I know he has not been happy with what he has done in 2021.

“There are a number of reasons for that, people may forget he has had some family tragedy through lockdown which made last year a really tough year for him and that sometimes gets forgotten.

“He is a strong family man and that does affect your footy and what you can do on the field.”

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Hurrell’s mum Fatafehi, passed away at the young age of 63 in June 2020. A tough situation at any time, but made even more testing by Covid lockdown and his family being 12,000 miles away in Tonga.

Hurrell, the youngest of six children, traditionally blew a kiss to his mum as part of his try celebrations.

Woolf said: “I have been really proud watching him get through that as well as overcome some injuries and I am really happy he is joining us.

“I know what he is as a player and he has played in some real big games for Tonga and been one of our best players.

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“The 2017 World Cup beating New Zealand is an example, he really stood up in that game as he did against Great Britain and Australia in 2019.

“He was in the 2019 and 2020 Super League Dream team and coming into our environment next season I think he will rally thrive in it.

“We will get him at his fittest and at his best and if we do that and he is happy, we will have a real player on our hands.

“He can be a real X Factor for us next year and I am sure the fans will love him.”

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Hurrell enjoyed seven seasons in the NRL after making his debut with the New Zealand Warriors in 2012.

He moved to the Gold Coast in 2016 before scoring for the World All Star team in a win over the Indigenous All Stars. He made a total of 116 NRL appearances scoring 55 tries.