SAINTS are re-starting the Academy tours to Australia that were put on hold after 2019.

St Helens Under 18s Academy will depart for Australia in the winter of 2026 for a three-week development tour, the club's first since the Covid pandemic.

The 2026 Academy Saints will become the ninth group of young players to tour Australia since the initial trip to the southern hemisphere back in 2004.

It still has the same purpose as 20 years ago, namely to develop more young players to become stars of the future of St Helens.

Over the years these tours have helped Saints develop the likes of Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees, Jack Welsby and Lewis Dodd. 

Saints Under 18s will get the chance to train and live like full-time professional athletes while on tour, working in top-class facilities with club staff; who will get time to work with them, educate and develop them as players and as young men off the field.

The tour will see  Saints Academy take on three competitive fixtures against NRL clubs, culminating with the traditonal big clash against Penrith Panthers

The club are seeking donations to help fund the travel across the other side of the world with a party of more than 30 people and accompanying staff.

Given Saints Academy Tourists have gone on to become First Team players it is an investment that played a huge role in their development.

A club statement reads: "The tours of the past have been successful thanks to the phenomenal support from our community.

"Your support for this upcoming tour will help our Club create the future stars of St.Helens R.F.C., and any generosity big or small to the campaign is greatly appreciated.

"Throughout the fundraising campaign there will be opportunities for supporters to win prizes.

"Prizes will include  attending an exclusive behind the scenes First Team captain’s run session, a signed shirt or a signed ball from the First Team, an exclusive tour on a matchday, plus more to be announced as the campaign rolls on."

Saints will be hosting several events up until the tour’s departure in the winter of 2026 to help raise funds for the campaign. .

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2026 Saints Academy Tour can be discussed by emailing to inquire for further information.