Kyle Amor praises Justin Holbrook's work at St Helens
By Marc Bazeley
Last Updated: 08/08/19 6:22am
Kyle Amor has hailed the impact departing head coach Justin Holbrook has made both on and off the field at St Helens over the past two-and-a-half years.
The 43-year-old Australian joined Saints midway through the 2017 season following the departure of club icon Keiron Cunningham and guided them to a Super League play-off semi-final appearance in his first year, followed by claiming the League Leaders' Shield in 2018.
St Helens have already wrapped up the Shield for the current season and are well-placed to complete a clean sweep of domestic honours before Holbrook departs for NRL side Gold Coast Titans at the end of the year, with prop Amor praising what he has done at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
"He's done wonders, not only for the playing group but for the club as well," Amor told Sky Sports.
"He's certainly come in and his work ethic, ethos and ideas on how the game should look have certainly filtered through to us as players. He's done a fantastic job of reconnecting the community with the club as well.
"The next guy who comes along hopefully carries on with that and really helps us, as a team, growing the positive, hard-working culture we've got going on at the moment."
Should they go on to complete a clean sweep of the League Leaders' Shield, Challenge Cup and Super League Grand Final, the current St Helens squad would emulate the feat of the revered 2006 team.
Coached by another Australian, Daniel Anderson, the Saints squad of that era followed those domestic honours up with a World Club Challenge triumph the following year and Amor is well aware how highly-regarded that team is.
The Cumbrian and his team-mates, naturally, want to give Holbrook the perfect send-off, but there is also the desire to write their own chapter in the history of St Helens.
"When you go into St Helens as a club, you're constantly surrounded by history of sides which won trophies and the ghosts of Knowsley Road," Amor said.
"When you get the fans together in a room at a forum and things like that, the constant theme is the '06 side and how special that team was.
"We want to leave our own legacy as a group and for Justin as well, and we want to be talked about as that team in years to come, as people saying the 2019 team were a great side.
"But we've got a long, long way to go and although it's coming to the business end of the year now, there is still a fair bit of rugby to be played before we can consider putting the 2019 side down next to the greats of the '06 side."