Justin Holbrook asks for more time as he considers future

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook
St Helens coach Justin Holbrook

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook has asked the Super League leaders for more time to consider his future.

The 43-year-old Australian is out of contract at the end of the season and Saints have been pressing him to sign a new deal as NRL clubs begin to circle.

Holbrook, a former assistant to Sydney Roosters head coach Trent Robinson, arrived in England largely unknown and unproven but his stock has soared after guiding St Helens to the brink of a second successive League Leaders' Shield.

They are also 80 minutes away from a first Wembley appearance for 11 years but Holbrook's future is threatening to overshadow the build-up to Saturday's Challenge Cup semi-final against Halifax.

Holbrook, who joined St Helens on a two-and-a-half-year contract in May 2017, has been linked with moves to Gold Coast Titans, who sacked their coach earlier this month, and Canterbury Bulldogs.

Saints fans made clear their feelings 11 days ago, chanting, 'Justin Holbrook, we want you to stay' after a 32-10 derby win over Wigan at the Totally Wicked Stadium and, although the coach says he is still undecided, he is keen to bring an end to the speculation.

"Nothing's changed from last week," Holbrook told PA. "I'm really happy here but I'll obviously have a look at what there is. "It's more speculation than anything else with the interest but I'll see what happens. I don't want it to drag on. I don't think it's good for any club or myself. I don't want the speculation to be about myself. We've got a great side here and a great club.

"Hopefully within a week or two it will get sorted and you don't have to ask. But I'm not sure at this stage."

St Helens chief executive Mike Rush has said Holbrook's future is in his own hands but warns there "has to be a time frame for when all this comes to an end".

Holbrook, who coached the Junior Kangaroos in his native Australia, said: "The club have been fantastic. I said if I could just have a couple more weeks which they were good enough to grant me.

"I don't want to disrespect our club. I know it's a great position I'm in here as coach of St Helens. That's why I said I don't want it to drag on. I appreciate what they're doing from their end and allow me a couple of weeks to make sure I look at everything."

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