Lois Forsell believes Jonny Lomax can pull the strings in St Helens’ Betfred World Club Challenge clash against Sydney Roosters.
The newly announced Leeds Rhinos Women’s head coach was recently unveiled as the first female panellist to adjudicate on Super League’s Man of Steel award, handed to the player who accumulates the most ranking points across the season.
So, she has been keeping a watchful eye on the current table-toppers Saints, who are vying to lift their third World Club Challenge trophy on Saturday when they take on reigning National Rugby League Champions Roosters at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
And the 28-year-old, who turned to coaching after being forced into premature retirement with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, says the experienced Lomax can be the protagonist in the weekend’s showpiece event.
“Jonny just makes it look easy - I think on and off the field he’s a committed athlete, and he just pushes and pushes and pushes all the time.
“He’s an exciting player, he’s tough, and he seems to make everything look so easy - you look back and you think ‘how did he do that?’, but he seems to do it with ease.
“He’s an exciting player, and he’s certainly one to look out for in the Man of Steel award.
“I think it’s going to be a great game, and I’m really looking forward to it in the sense that it always comes at a challenging time for Super League clubs in terms of the time frame that it’s played in.
“I’m incredibly excited and it’s a game that means so much to the players - to be crowned the best in the world is pretty special, and I know St Helens will be really up for that.”
The experienced Lomax currently sits alongside Huddersfield Giants’ Aidan Sezer at the summit of the Man of Steel standings, gaining six points from their opening three Super League matches after wins against Salford Red Devils and Hull FC.
But he is not the only formidable talent in a star-studded Saints side, that also includes the likes of Lachlan Coote, Theo Fages and captain James Roby.
And Forsell, whose Rhinos side kick off their Women’s Super League title defence against Bradford Bulls at the end of March, believes that triumvirate will also have an influence this weekend.
"Theo will have a big impact this weekend and so will James, if he’s back, who for me as a former No. 9 is absolutely inspirational,” she added.
“The workload that he gets through is amazing, and the spine of their team is just pretty incredible with the pack of forwards that they have.
“Lachlan was saying that the players he plays around make it really easy to play in a team like St Helens, and they’ve just got world-class players in every position.
“I think it’s going to be a great game, and I’m hoping it’s a Super League win and a St Helens win.”
The Betfred World Club Challenge is a huge night in Rugby League which sees the Super League Champions, St Helens take on the NRL Champions, Sydney Roosters.
This year’s contest takes place at the Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens on Saturday 22 February (7:45pm KO).
Secure your seat by visiting https://tickets.saintsrlfc.com/home.aspx