He’s not taken a backwards step: Tee Ritson impressing at new club Saints

Tee Ritson St Helens SWpix Credit: Alamy
Tee Ritson St Helens SWpix Credit: Alamy

New St Helens recruit Tee Ritson has made a big impression in his first time being in a full-time environment, according to his team-mate Tommy Makinson.

The Thailand-born speedster has joined the Super League champions on a season-long loan from hometown club Barrow.

Ritson became a prolific try scorer in the Championship with the Raiders, scoring 70 tries in 73 games over the past four seasons.

The 27-year-old will be competing for a spot on the wing with the likes of Makinson and Jon Bennison, who have been given shirt numbers two and five respectively for 2023.

“Tee is great,” England international Makinson told Love Rugby League.

“I’ve only had a week and half with him but you can already see he’s champing at the bit to get going.

“I think it’s a great advert for players in the lower leagues and how good they are; and what they can do as well.

“You saw how well Tee played last year and he has come into a full-time environment and not taken a backwards step.

“It just shows that you don’t have to be in a scholarship from 12 years of age. You can go and play in the Championship and the lower levels.

“Like Tee at 26 or 27, he’s signed for St Helens and I’m really excited for him and what he is going to do this year. Hopefully he can help us go and win a fifth (Super League title).”

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Housemates Tee Ritson and Wesley Bruines catching the eye at Saints

Wesley Bruines St Helens Credit: Alamy
Wesley Bruines alongside St Helens head coach Paul Wellens | Photo: St Helens RLFC

St Helens’ recruitment may have gone under the radar ahead of the new season because they aren’t household names – yet.

However, Wesley Bruines is another new face who has taken pre-season with the Saints by storm.

The 19-year-old outside-back missed out on a scholarship contract as a youngster. He then spent two years with Wakefield before rejecting a deal with the reserves to embark on a journey Down Under, where he went on to feature for South Sydney Rabbitohs Under-21s.

Bruines was taken under the wing of the legendary Sam Burgess whilst in Australia. The Dewsbury-born back has now returned to England on a one-year deal, where he lives with fellow newcomer Ritson.

“Those two are really close,” Makinson told Love Rugby League. “Being an outside-back, I do quite a bit of work with them both.

“They are both great lads, that’s the number one thing at this club. You’ve got to be a good rugby player first and foremost but your character has to be good as well. They are both great blokes and fit in straight away.

“You can see how keen they are to learn and they’ll only help us. You need competition for places and you need lads fighting for sports – it doesn’t matter if you are 21 or 31 – you’ve got to have that competition.”

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