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'I'm blessed to become a Saint!' hurrell turns down leeds offer to join champions RUGBY LEAGUE.

Byline: IAN LAYBOURN Press Association

SUPER League champions St Helens have reunited Konrad Hurrell with his Tonga coach Kristian Woolf for 2022.

The 30-year-old centre, who has so far won 11 caps for Tonga under Woolf, has signed a 12-month deal with Saints after rejecting the offer of a new deal with Leeds.

Hurrell scored 23 tries in 55 matches for the Rhinos after joining them ahead of the 2019 season from NRL side Gold Coast Titans. He was a big crowd favourite at Headingley and Woolf says he can provide his team with the 'X Factor.'.

Woolf said: "Everyone knows Koni is a great character and he has a terrific ability to enjoy rugby league and make the fans feel a part of the team.

"What I also know is he is a terrific competitor and I know he has not been happy with what he has done in 2021.

"There are a number of reasons for that. People may forget he has had some family tragedy through lockdown which made last year a really tough year for him and that sometimes gets forgotten.

"He is a strong family man and that does affect your footy and what you can do on the field.

"I have been really proud watching him get through that as well as overcome some injuries and I am really happy he is joining us.

"I know what he is as a player and he has played in some real big games for Tonga and been one of our best players.

"He was in the 2019 and 2020 Super League Dream team and coming into our environment next season I think he will really thrive in it.

"We will get him at his fittest and at his best and, if we do that and he is happy, we will have a real player on our hands. He can be a real 'X Factor' for us next year and I am sure the fans will love him."

Hurrell, who joins fellow Tongan international Will Hopoate at the Totally Wicked Stadium, said: "I am honoured to sign with this team.

"The Saints have won three titles in the row and are currently the best team in Super League.

"I am blessed to have the opportunity because a lot of players and young kids want to play for this team. I am truly grateful.

"I like a challenge and I know it is going to be tough to find a spot in the squad but it is a challenge I am looking forward to."

CAPTION(S):

Konrad Hurrell will link up with his Tonga coach Kristian Woolf at St Helens in 2022 NIGEL FRENCH

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:IAN LAYBOURN Press Association
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:8TONG
Date:Oct 23, 2021
Words:443
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