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Page last updated at 23:45 GMT, Friday, 18 February 2011

St Helens coach Simmons keen to hang onto Eastmond

Kyle Eastmond
Oldham-born Eastmond first joined St Helens as a 13-year-old in 2003

St Helens coach Royce Simmons hopes the club can keep hold of star scrum-half Kyle Eastmond, despite talk of his switching codes to join Bath.

"We'd certainly like to keep Kyle here," said Simmons after his side's 56-22 win at Salford on Friday. "We're doing everything we can.

"But, if he decides to go, let's get on with life and bring someone else through or chase another half-back.

"Hopefully we'll get it sorted out one day this week," added the Saints boss.

Eastmond, whose current deal runs out at the end of the 2011 Super League season and who has also been linked with another Premiership side Sale, has been offered new terms by Saints.

But, after a quiet first game of the season in the opening day 16-16 against Wigan at the Millennium Stadium, he returned to top form to run in two tries at The Willows in Saints' stunning romp against Salford.

Bath, one of rugby union's top Premiership outfits, remain big admirers.

Their coach Steve Meehan says they have done all they can to persuade that Eastmond his future lies at The Rec.

If Kyle Eastmond chooses Bath, then we have a track record of being able to help players convert from rugby league to rugby union as good as anyone's

Bath coach Steve Meehan

"We brought him down here and showed him around and he met a number of people so he could see we're serious about it," the coach told BBC Radio Bristol.

"There are a lot of factors he needs to take into account. He needs to be happy with his decision.

"But, if he chooses Bath, then we have a track record of being able to help players convert from rugby league to rugby union as good as anyone."

Oldham-born Eastmond, who came through the youth ranks at St Helens, first broke into the first team in 2007.

He scored in the 2009 Grand Final defeat by Leeds and missed last season's Old Trafford showpiece loss to Wigan because of injury.

"Obviously, I'm contracted here until the end of the season and I love St Helens," said the England international at Cardiff last Saturday.

"I am going to do my best to win games and trophies for Saints. But, one way or another, it will definitely be sorted this week - 100%. And that's all I want to say about it."

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