Matty Foster under five new St Helens contracts, squad numbers revealed – TotalRL.com | Rugby League Express
MATTY FOSTER has been handed a new one-year contract at St Helens despite an injury that will likely sideline him for much of 2023.
The young forward has had terrible injury luck throughout his senior career, limiting him to just one first-team appearance for Saints in 2020.
Foster played six times for Leigh the following year but then suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury that required surgery.
He returned to the field for the St Helens reserve team in July but immediately injured the same knee again, putting him on course for another period of recovery that could take almost a year.
The club said at the time they would continue to support him throughout this recovery and have now committed to doing so in the form of a new deal.
“Matty has been really unlucky over the past few seasons,” said the Saints’ new head coach, Paul Wellens.
“He picked up a couple of injuries that really limited his playing time but we have some of the best people here to get him through this situation.
“He didn’t fold once; He came every day with a smile on his face and worked really hard to get back on the field.
“The resilience he has shown during these difficult times has strengthened his character and that will serve him well in the future.”
Like Foster, fellow youngsters Taylor Pemberton and Jumah Sambou have signed new one-year deals with the club.
Both made their first-team debuts at Easter this year, and Wellens added: “Jumah and Taylor both played important roles for us last season and having developed at our academy they know what’s coming of them as Saints players are expected, and that means consistency, showing work ethic and commitment.
“Having both made their first-team debuts last season, we expect them to work hard for more opportunities.”
Fellow Academy graduates McKenzie Buckley and Ben Lane have both signed their first professional contracts.
Buckley, who made his debut against Castleford Tigers alongside Pemberton and Sambou, has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further season, while Lane, who played in the Saints’ last two Super League games of the regular season, has signed a two-year contract.
Meanwhile, another Academy product has received a significant promotion in the Saints’ 2023 roster numbers, with Jon Bennison inheriting the number five jersey from outgoing Regan Grace.
The number 25 was not awarded with the club hinting at the possibility of a re-signing.
St Helens squad 2023: 1st Jack Welsby, 2nd Tommy Makinson, 3rd Will Hopoate, 4th Mark Percival, 5th Jon Bennison, 6th Jonny Lomax, 7th Lewis Dodd, 8th Alex Walmsley, 9th James Roby , 10 Matty Lees, 11 Sione Mata utia, 12 Joe Batchelor, 13 Morgan Knowles, 14 Joey Lussick, 15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16 Curtis Sironen, 17 Agnatius Paasi, 18 Jack Wingfield, 19 James Bell, 20 Dan Norman, 21 Ben Davies, 22 Sam Royle, 23 Konrad Hurrell, 24 Lewis Baxter, 26 Dan Hill, 27 Jumah Sambou, 28 Matty Foster, 29 Taylor Pemberton, 30 George Delaney, 31 Daniel Moss, 32 Ben Lane, 33 McKenzie Buckley.