CHAIRMAN Eamonn McManus says Saints remain in the hunt for a centre or wing to replace the departed Will Hopoate – but only if the right player comes along.

He echoed previous comments made last month by head coach Paul Wellens about not “making signings for the sake of it”, but the club can play the waiting game and look at what becomes available at the right price in the NRL in the next couple of months.

So far recruitment wise for 2024, Saints have retained and extended the deals of key players - with outstanding prop prospect George Delaney among those signing an extension.

They have replaced veterans James Roby and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook by adding England’s test hooker Daryl Clark and Catalans back row Matt Whitley.

On top of that they have promoted a quintet of highly regarded Academy graduates to the top squad and upgraded some of their retained list on new deals.

But they remain on the look-out for a three-quarter who will improve the squad and tick all the boxes for a Saints player.

McManus said: “We are very happy with our like-for-like recruits, and we have lots of good youngsters coming though – but we do have some cap space.

“We have effectively already brought in Moses Mbye for Joey Lussick and you will see a better Moses next year now that he has had a pre-season with us and has settled in.

“Daryl Clark comes in for James Roby and he will add something different to us.

“We get Matt Whitley, basically for Louie, and he can play on the edge and has flexibility to give us cover in the centre as well even though we are still looking for a centre.

“That means that Sione Mata’utia will go in as a prop and he will be strong in that role.

“We are still looking for a wing/centre – but we are not going to sign them for the sake of it.

“Any signing must strengthen the squad, fit in and be a very good player – if they are not then we are not going to sign them.”

Saints have a three-quarter line of Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Konrad Hurrell and Tee Ritson or Jon Bennison, with Ben Davies as cover with outside backs Dayon Sambou and Jonny Vaughan elevated into the top squad next  year.

As further cover, if need be, Mbye and Whitley have also played spells at centre.

McManus was excited by a number of young players from last season's champion Academy side as the homegrown production line that delivered 10 of the World Club Challenge-winning side continues.  

“We are always going to give our young players a go, but we are prepared to play the waiting game on a good player at the right price,” McManus said.