Hargreaves to remain a Saint
Saints to sign only two new players next term
Last Updated: August 22, 2008 4:59pm
Hargreaves: New contract
St Helens prop Bryn Hargreaves is to stay at the club after signing a two-year contract with the Super League leaders on Friday.
The 22-year-old joined Saints two years ago after leaving Wigan as a result of the salary cap and feared a repeat experience at Knowsley Road.
But he will now remain at Saints until at least the end of the 2010 season after missing only three matches this year and proving invaluable to coach Daniel Anderson during the absence of experienced props Jason Cayless and Nick Fozzard through injury.
Hargreaves, who had a loan spell at Leigh before joining Saints, said: "I'm very happy to have finally sorted out my new contract.
"I could have moved elsewhere for a bigger contract but I wanted to stay at the club because I believe I have more chance of winning trophies here than at any other."
St Helens chief executive Tony Colquitt added: "We are delighted to agree terms with Bryn. He has worked hard this season and we are looking forward to him going from strength to strength next year."
Hargreaves' new contract comes as the Super League leaders have revealed that they will sign just two new players for the 2009 season.
Saints, who were one of two clubs not to strengthen their squad for 2008, have recruited second rower Tony Puletua from Penrith Panthers for next season.
But they have confirmed that they will make only one more signing as they struggle to keep within the salary cap.
To reduce costs, the club have decided against renewing the contract of club captain Paul Sculthorpe and front rower Fozzard.
Three other players will also be released, while four others may possibly be loaned out as the club continues its policy of recruiting from their successful junior set-up.
A club spokesman said: "In the long term, this will benefit not just the club, but is essential for the future success of the game at international level."
Meanwhile, the club have been fined £8,456 after narrowly breaching the salary cap for the third successive year.
The fine is equal to the amount of money by which the club exceeded the finite cap last season and Saints say they have accepted their punishment, blaming it on 'a simple historical formula calculation error which was in place before the start of the 2007 season.'
National League One club Leigh Centurions were also fined £5,000 for a minor offence after breaking the 50 per cent rule which prohibits a club from spending more than half of their income on player salaries.
The League say Leigh could have avoided the breach had they applied for dispensation following an unexpected downturn in revenue.
"This is the first time in two years that no clubs have been referred to the RFL operational rules tribunal for breaching the salary cap and is the last year that engage Super League clubs will be audited on the retrospective system," said Karen Moorhouse, the RFL's compliance manager.
A new proactive 'live' system was introduced for Super League clubs at the start of this season which is designed to prevent them from accidentally breaching the finite cap of £1.6 million.
She added: "The new system we implemented this year is more proactive and a club's expenditure is continuously monitored throughout the season which should prevent some accidental breaches that have occurred in the past."