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We beat off competition to sign giant Saints teenager

ROUGHYEDS are delighted to announce the signing of powerful, young St Helens prop Jamie Pye despite facing considerable competition for his signature.

The 19-year-old giant, who stands 6ft5in, was free to choose his own future on completion of a three-year Academy deal at his home-town Saints, but two weeks into a three-month training trial at Bradford Bulls he decided it wasn’t for him.

Jamie Pye
Jamie Pye

We were tipped off that he was available and looking for a fresh start and are now pleased to report that Jamie, a St Helens lad born and bred, has put pen to paper on a Roughyeds' one-year contract to follow in the footsteps of his dad David, who played in the ‘A’ team at Watersheddings way back in the 1980s.

Our head coach Stu Littler said:

“Jamie is a big lad with loads of promise. He’s been involved in top systems at Saints for several years and he won England honours. Sadly, the proposed tour of Australia and New Zealand was postponed because of Covid, so he missed out through no fault of his own.

“There is no doubt that Covid has had a negative effect on his career so far.

“We faced a lot of competition to get him, but he chose to come to us. He’s been training at Bradford, but he’s seen what’s going on at Oldham. Perhaps we are a different proposition than we were two months ago and Jamie wants to be part of it.

“As I said after we announced the James Thornton signing earlier this week, we are now reaching the stage where we have a lot of genuine competition for places and shirts.

“Jamie is a big, big lad, who will add size to our forwards and the competition will be good for him, for the squad and for the club, with players in possession of the jerseys knowing they have squad colleagues breathing down their necks.

“That can only benefit everyone, moving forward.”

When Jamie joined the Bulls on trial in mid-November, John Kear revealed that when the 19-year-old played for Lancashire, he was up against Tom Holroyd, who has since played for Leeds Rhinos.

To provide readers with a guide as to the standard Jamie was at in 2020, he was named for the aborted Down Under England youth tour from a train-on panel of 43 which included his Saints team mate Lewis Dodd as well as Josh Thewlis (Warrington Wolves), Ben McNamara (Hull FC) and Umyla Hanley (Wigan Warriors).

He was also part of the Saints academy squad that reached the Grand Final in 2019.

He played for the renowned rugby school Cowley High until he was 13 when he joined Thatto Heath Crusaders. A year later he was picked up by Saints on scholarship, eventually signing a three-year academy deal, which was so seriously affected by Covid.

He says he is now ready to grasp his career by the scruff of the neck and fulfil his promise — and he says Stu Littler and Roughyeds can get it kick started.

Said Jamie:

“Bradford was a bit too far for me from St Helens and I’ve been very impressed with Stuart (Littler), whose enthusiasm is infectious.

“I enjoyed my time at Saints, the club I’ve supported since I was a boy, but the time has arrived to move on and to test myself against men in a different environment.

“I’d love to get into the Oldham side on a regular basis, but I know there will be a lot of competition for places and we’ll all have a lot to do to get hold of a jersey.

“Back in the day my Dad was happy at Oldham and that also had a bearing on my decision.”

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