20 Dec 2021

The importance of Knowles

Last week Morgan Knowles committed his long-term future to St Helens. The significance of that deal cannot be understated. Knowles has been a pillar of the Saints side in recent years and an integral part of their dominance in Betfred Super League over the past three seasons.

He made his third consecutive appearance in the Super League Dream Team in 2021 and joins an esteemed group of loose forwards to be included in the team at least three times – Andy Farrell, Paul Sculthorpe, Kevin Sinfield and Sean O’Loughlin have all dominated the number 13 spot over the past 25 years.

Knowles' game evolves around effort. He is tough, honest and hard-working. Defensively, the Cumbrian is a rock in St Helens’ middle third. He’s a hard-hitting loose forward that has delivered countless bone-shuddering tackles, earning a fierce, no-nonsense reputation in the middle of the park and regularly setting the tone in defence for St Helens. And whilst his defensive efforts are sometimes the headline act within his game, he offers so much more for his side.

As Saints head coach Kristian Woolf explained, β€œHe is a real stand-out player for us in the way he performs and competes every week. He has a unique skill-set where he can play with the footy, but also has that ruthless and tough competitive style.”

Indeed, Knowles competitive nature and toughness makes him a force defensively - but his ability with ball in hand makes St Helens’ attack considerably more potent. He is both skilful and smart when taking on the line, able to deliver a pinpoint pass and create ample space for his halves to play wider, second phase rugby.

It is an invaluable asset for a team to have and St Helens have it in abundance. And with James Bell added to their squad in 2022, Saints have the perfect cover for Knowles off the interchange bench.

Knowles is highly revered at the St Helens club and will be a leader within the squad for years to come. His one percent efforts off the ball and in all the important areas epitomise both Knowles’ and St Helens’ unrelenting attitude and commitment.

You can almost guarantee that Morgan Knowles will lead the way during a St Helens kick chase. It’s inevitable that Knowles will shoot off the defensive line to put pressure on an opposition kicker. And it’s a given that he will be on the shoulder of his teammates in the middle to support the ball carrier during a St Helens attack.

It comes as no surprise to see Knowles at the top of his game in Super League. A dedicated professional who leaves everything on the field - Knowles is conditioned to win. 

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