Jack Welsby supports Jonny Lomax for England after Grand Final heroics

Jonny Lomax is preparing to break the pain barrier to help England’s bid to win the Rugby League World Cup, according to St Helens team-mate Jack Welsby.

Lomax was shy about his chances to make Shaun Wane’s squad after a man-of-the-match performance as Saints beat Leeds 24-12 at Old Trafford to become the first team to win four straight Grand Finals.

The 31-year-old half-back has struggled through the season despite a bicep fracture sustained in the Saints’ Super League win over Salford in April and will consult with the club’s medical staff once the celebrations are over.

Welsby, who will almost certainly earn his spot in the England halves after another inspiring stand-off performance, stressed: “We forget that Jonny has had a bicep injury since round 11.

“If he has any concerns it would be realistic to re-register but he’s not that kind of person and I’m sure he’ll put his hand up to play for England.”

Lomax made an instant impression by sending Matty Lees to the fastest Grand Final attempt ever and orchestrated the whole process to become a deserved winner of the prestigious Harry Sunderland Trophy.

His arm injury is just the latest setback in a painful career that began with a severe concussion as a junior and also required three cruciate ligament surgeries, the worst of which nearly a decade ago left him in doubt about his future in the sport.

“If I go back to 2014-15, I probably thought my career was over,” added Lomax. “I told my dad I was quitting and I didn’t want to go through that again.

“It sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s how it was. I had surgery, but I couldn’t imagine doing rehab. But in the end I made it and as the time came to return I was feeling pretty good and thought I’d see how I did.”

I told my dad I was quitting and I didn’t want to go through that again. It sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s how it was. I had surgery, but I couldn’t imagine doing rehab.

Lomax’s decision to postpone the surgery was relieved when the Saints lost their scrum-half Lewis Dodd to an Achilles injury for the season in the Good Friday game against Wigan, and his resilience typifies the Saints’ rise to their unprecedented grand Final quadruple.

“We talked about what we wanted to achieve preseason and I didn’t want to let something I could do for the rest of the season stop us from achieving our goals,” Lomax said.

“If Doddy had been available it probably would have been an easier decision on how to approach the rest of the year, but with Doddy gone and we still have a few bumps to deal with, it was about doing what’s best for the team .”

Despite his teammate’s expectations, Lomax refused to cash in on his World Cup chances, saying he would prioritize celebrating another milestone win and the victorious farewell to outgoing coach Kristian Woolf.

“I don’t know what that is about,” Lomax insisted. “I will be speaking to the medical team and everyone will be updating on this over the next few days. Of course we will continue from there, but in the meantime I’m not thinking about that, it’s to celebrate our incredible performance.”

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https://www.newschainonline.com/sport/mens-sport/rugby-league/jack-welsby-backs-jonny-lomax-for-england-call-after-grand-final-heroics-294478 Jack Welsby supports Jonny Lomax for England after Grand Final heroics

Mike Fahey

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