Saints have announced that England International Alex Walmsley has committed his future to the club for the next four years.
The 27-year-old has put pen to paper on a deal that will see him remain at the Saints until the end of season 2022.
“This is superb news not only for the St Helens club but for the British game,” Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus said. “Alex is an international class player who has been at the forefront of the sport over the last few seasons.
“He has established himself as one of the best forwards in the game and it is fair to say he can only get better too.
“We know Alex was courted by several NRL clubs and I have no doubt that this signing will be a boost for everyone in Super League.”
Alex’s meteoric rise to Super League and the international scene is nothing short of remarkable.
Less than seven years ago he was playing amateur rugby league for Dewsbury Celtic as well as student rugby league for Leeds Met.
He was picked up by Batley in 2012, joined Saints a year later and was fast-tracked into the first team.
He has since gone on to play 147 times for the club, scoring 23 tries.
A Man of Steel nomination followed in 2015 alongside two Top Metre Maker awards before overdue recognition at international level with England in last year’s Rugby League World Cup.
He also won the Grand Final with Saints in 2014.
“Alex is the leader in our pack and this contract means we can continue to build around him for the foreseeable future,” Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook added. “He has tremendous go forward and work-rate to go alongside his professional attitude and standard he sets for the younger members of our squad. His story should also serve as a message to those in all levels of our game.
“It is a massive bonus for our Club to have Alex re-sign on the eve of the 2018 season. There has been a lot of interest from clubs in the NRL and deservedly so. I believe Alex is the best forward in Super League and showed his qualities even further for England in the recent World Cup.
“Alex is not only a fantastic player but more importantly a tremendous person and the fact he has decided to extend his contract with us proves to our Club and the Community that he loves playing for St Helens.
“I know he will be doing his absolute best to make us successful now and in the future.
“I am personally very excited about having Alex remain at the Club and all Saints fans should be also.”