Prev Game: Super League Fri 25th Jul

prev game - St Helens
team 1 score team 2
St Helens 44 - 22 Widnes

Next Game: Super League Fri 1st Aug

next game - St Helens
team 1 score team 2
Hull 20:00 St Helens

Mike Rush says Anthony Laffranchi has been St Helens' most consistent performer

Last Updated: 27/09/12 7:39am

  • Share:
Anthony Laffranchi: Mike Rush believes the Australian has been the club's most consistent performer

Anthony Laffranchi: Mike Rush believes the Australian has been the club's most consistent performer

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

St Helens coach Mike Rush has hailed the impact of Australian Anthony Laffranchi as a replacement for James Graham.

The former Wests Tigers and Gold Coast back rower was signed by coach Royce Simmons 12 months ago as a replacement for Graham, who won the Man of Steel award in 2008.

Graham was regarded as one of Super League's most influential players and the end to his nine-year stay with Saints to join the Canterbury Bulldogs left the club with a massive void to fill.

It has been a season of ups and downs for the Langtree Park side after Simmons was dismissed following a below-par start, a task Rush and Kieron Cunningham have picked up and carried out with distinction.

There were big expectations on Laffranchi's shoulder to replace Graham, however, Rush believes the 30-year-old has been the club's most consistent performer.

"Boof (Laffranchi) has been outstanding," said Rush. "He's probably been our most consistent player, along with Sia Soliola.

"He's an absolute model professional and a tremendous leader, at training and on the field. The attitude he displays to the younger players is phenomenal.

"He was a real good signing by Royce. He has been a major coup for us and someone I hope will stay at the club for the long term because he's got a few years left in him."

Laffranchi, who won five caps for Australia and played against England for the Exiles this year, admits there was pressure on his shoulders, but not a challenge he was going to shy away from.

"He's an absolute model professional and a tremendous leader, at training and on the field. The attitude he displays to the younger players is phenomenal."
Rush on Laffranchi

"There's probably a bit of pressure filling James' boots but, as a player, you want to test yourself," he said.

"He's been a quality front rower for the club for a long period of time and I was excited by the challenge of coming over here and putting my own stamp on the game and challenging myself again in a different league.

"Replacing a quality player was something I was thriving on. I'm happy with the way things have turned out. I've really enjoyed my time at Saints.

"I said from the beginning I wasn't going play like James Graham, I'll play like Anthony Laffranchi and bring my aspects to the game."

  • Share:

Related

Super League play-offs Week 3

Tony Smith: chance to win the double

Grand delight for Smith

Warrington coach Tony Smith described his club's inaugural Grand Final appearance as "an enormous achievement".

Mark Flanagan of St Helens attempts an offload

Wolves roar into Grand Final

Warrington reached their first Grand Final and ended St Helens' run of six straight trips to Old Trafford.

Kevin Sinfield (R): Has heaped praise on Brian McDermott after reaching Grand Final

Sinfield: McDermott the best

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield says current Rhinos boss Brian McDermott is the best coach he has ever worked under.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

Super League stats

Super League stats

Who has kicked the most goals this season? Which player is penalised the most? Find out here...

Fall from grace

Fall from grace

We look at the Bulls' recent highs and lows following their relegation from Super League on Sunday.

Good Week/Bad Week

Good Week/Bad Week

Sky Sports picks out our heroes and villains from another eventful last seven days in the world of sport.