St Helens new recruit Wesley Bruines is relishing the opportunity to train alongside Mark Percival, who he believes is the best centre in Super League.
Bruines, 19, joins ahead of the 2023 season on a one-year deal after featuring for South Sydney Rabbitohs in the Jersey Flegg competition last year.
The centre found his path to professional rugby league after being spotted at college by now-Wakefield head coach Mark Applegarth, who signed him up with the academy team.
He later rejected a deal with the club’s reserves to take a chance Down Under with Coffs Harbour Comets, before Sam Burgess helped him with a move to Rabbitohs’ development team.
Back on home soil and having moved to St Helens from Yorkshire, Bruines is now aiming to learn all he can from three-time Dream Team centre Percival and earn his Super League debut.
“I spoke to Mark Percival while he’s recovering and when he’s back, I want to have more one-to-one and extras with him,” Bruines told Love Rugby League.
“I want to learn from him as he’s the best centre in Super League.
“He’s quality. I’ve always wanted to learn from him, especially being one of the top players in Super League across the years.”
Wesley Bruines on St Helens opportunity
Bruines is currently undergoing his first Super League pre-season with history-making champions St Helens, working under head coach Paul Wellens ahead of his inaugural season in charge of the Totally Wicked Stadium side.
The talented outside-back is just one of two new faces recruited by St Helens during the off-season alongside Tee Ritson from Barrow.
“It’s been a bit different as it’s my first proper first pre-season in a professional environment,” Bruines said.
“I’ve always missed them through injuries or coming in late, but it’s been good.
“It’s been challenging, but if I compare myself to when I started to now, I feel a different player already.
“Especially under Paul Wellens, he’s class. He’s been quality.
“He’s proper looked after me and Tee (Ritson) coming in. He is looking after the outside-backs. We’re learning the way they train and he’s proper looked after us.”
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