SAINTS boss Kristian Woolf was happy with what his new-look squad got out of an intense three-day training camp in North Wales early this week.

He spelled out the two key reasons why the players were taken away at this stage of pre-season as the three-peat champions continue building ahead of a tilt at an unprecedented four in a row.

The huge turnover in the squad from last term was ne of those with Saints having experienced a number of ins and outs since October’s finale.

St Helens Star:

Woolf said: “We thought it was a real success and what we got out of it.

“The purpose of it was to get away and work hard, first and foremost.

“It is a really short pre-season – and while it seems like there is a bit of time to work on things you don’t get a lot of time when it comes to the footy side of things.

“That was our first priority.

“The second aspect was that we have changed a third of our squad.

“Some of those have come through the academy system – but 10 out of our 30 players are new to this team.

“It was really important that we got away and got to spend some time together and get that little bit of personal knowledge of each other and the trust that comes with that.

“That is going to help us at some stage in the season.”

The squad were based at Rydal Penrhos school in Colwyn Bay where they made use of the fitness suite, pool and sports hall and wrapped off with sessions on the beach and in the sea.

The beach was not quite the kind that the NRL recruits have been used to in Australia – with a temperature some 20 degree lower – but they have quickly acclimatised.

Woolf was delighted with the host school – and the Saints squad presented the rugby team with their playing jerseys.

“Rydal did a really good job for us,” he said.

“They went above and beyond in making sure we felt looked after and welcome.

“The facilities we got to use, in particular the indoor sporting halls and the gym were exceptional, and that really helped us have a successful camp."