Lomax signs new deal
St Helens chairman Eamonn McManus announced a new four-year contract for Jonny Lomax and claimed it provided tangible evidence of Super League's ability to retain its leading talent thanks to the new television deal.
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The 23-year-old full-back became the latest Saints player to commit his long-term future to the club by signing a two-year extension to his existing deal which will keep him at Langtree Park until the end of 2017.
McManus made the announcement at a press conference at Langtree Park, where he took the opportunity to bang the drum for the British game and condemn the actions of his rival chairmen Ian Lenagan (Wigan) and Marwan Koukash (Salford) who publicly criticised the Rugby Football League over the new contract with Sky and the re-structuring plans.
Koukash claimed the RFL's failure to put the television deal out to tender would result in more players leaving Super League for either rugby union or the NRL.
"Clearly I have a different opinion and I am talking facts," McManus said.
"Never have I been more confident about the future of our club and the game as a whole as I am today.
"The new television deal will provide a 63 per cent uplift in income for Super League clubs and every level of the sport will benefit directly.
"It gives everybody the confidence to plan ahead. We have created stability and security at a stroke.
"The re-signing of Jonny is a ringing endorsement of the strength of the game and its structure, that the best of British talent is committing long-term to the sport."
Lomax, who has been handed Paul Wellens' only number one jersey for the new season, is thought to have fielded interest from the NRL but is delighted to stay with his home-town club.
"I'm a St Helens lad, I've always supported the club growing up, and I'm made up to sign up for another two years," Lomax said. "I feel as if the club is going in the right direction."