Holbrook backs Barba to shine

08 January 2018 22:15:45 GMTPlus11

St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook has backed Benny Barba to reach top form in 2018, after impressing during the latter stages of last season.

Barba has taken his chance to prove himself in Super League, and head coach Holbrook is excited to see what the former NRL star can do in his first full year.

"Benny has been fantastic in training. He came back for pre-season two weeks before everyone else and he has put himself in a really good position. He has high expectations of himself for the year ahead," said Holbrook, who is also preparing for his first full season, after replacing Keiron Cunningham as head coach during the latter stages of 2017.

"It has been good to get a full pre-season in with the squad and to set everything up for the new season rather than playing week in and week out. That has been good for the staff and the players.

"We want to challenge for the cup and the Super League - but that is no different from what every team will want. Last year showed how even the competition is and we know it's going to be tough, but it is just about us and what we want to do."

Despite a late resurgence, Saints missed out on a spot in the Grand Final last year, after missing out on an appearance at Wembley earlier in the season.

They start the new campaign on Friday 2nd February when they host Castleford Tigers.

St Helens areĀ 4.50 to win the Challenge Cup this year andĀ 3.00 to triumph in the Grand Final.

View all Rugby League betting