Trio sign new Saints deals

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Paul Wellens has signed a deal to return to St Helens for 2013

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Paul Wellens has signed a deal to return to St Helens for 2013

St Helens captain Paul Wellens has signed a new contract for 2013, along with three-quarter Francis Meli.

The 32-year-old Wellens is Saints' longest-serving player, having made 433 appearances for his home-town club, and he is their leading tryscorer so far this year with 23 touchdowns. There was never any doubt that Wellens would stay but the 33-year-old Meli has ended speculation over his future by renewing his contract for another 12 months.

Prop forward Paul Clough, 24, has signed a new three-year deal which is expected to take him to a testimonial with his home-town club.

Former New Zealand Test winger Meli is in his seventh season at St Helens since joining them from Auckland Warriors in 2006, and is closing in on his 200th appearance.

"It's great to go into the play-offs with three key signings for next year settled," St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus said.

"Paul Wellens is playing as well as ever and is the ultimate ambassador for the club.

"Likewise, Francis Meli is on top of his game and provides real experience in an otherwise youthful back line.

"Paul Clough is a real Trojan and it's good to sign him through to his testimonial season in 2014-15."

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