St Helens remain confident in holding onto star Jack Welsby following the fullback's man-of-the-match performance in the Saints' golden point World Cup Challenge win over Penrith, with further NRL clubs expected to have taken note of the Englishman's stellar performance.
Despite a 79th-minute knock-on that allowed the Panthers to even up the score in the final minute of the match, Welsby was often the cool-headed leader for St Helens in the victory and would even open the scoring at BlueBet Stadium.
The 21-year-old's end-to-end try was the perfect start for the tourists, while Welsby was also able to assist another try to have his side sitting pretty after the opening 15 minutes.
Three tackle breaks and a line break assist also added to the youngster's impressive hitout against the NRL's reigning premiers, with club scouts now expected to be on the phone to potentially pry Welsby out of England.
Speaking after the win, St Helens coach Paul Wellens spoke on the environment the club has looked to build to accommodate their players, often needing to stave off local rivals to retain key figures.
While confident in his players are "extremely happy" at the club, Wellens conceded "things can change down the track".
“We as a club are in a position where we're winning year on year,” Wellens said after the narrow win, via The Roar.
“We come out here and perform really well. You don't need to see Jack Welsby come out here and do well to know he's an excellent player.
“We have a lot of good players and I consider it a privilege that we're in a position where a lot of clubs on this side of the world would like to try and take our players. That means we're doing something right.
“But what we want to do is create an environment where these players want to stay and be a part of it. In rugby league, things can change down the track and I don't know the ambitions of every player in our squad.
“But I know that, to a man, they're extremely happy playing for St Helens, pulling on a Saints jersey and coming over here and performing like they did.”
Welsby is currently signed to St Helens until the end of the 2025 season, having inked a new long-term deal with the club last May.
A graduate out of the club's Academy program, Welsby has quickly built a name for himself both in England and abroad.
The Shevington and Blackbrook product won the Super League's Young Player of the Year award in 2021 and has now featured in 84 games for the Saints since 2018.
Four successive Super League titles have seen the Saints rule the competition in recent years, but their World Cup Challenge has them well-placed from a global perspective.
“To come here and play against the two-time NRL champions and turn them over on their own patch, 24 hours away from home, is pretty special,” Welsby said after the match.
“We always backed ourselves and fancied it from the minute we kicked off.
“We're only the second team to come over here and win a World Club Challenge and it's been a while since a Super League team have done it. It's a pretty special night."
Set to return home in the coming days, the Saints will travel to face the Castleford Tigers next weekend, with plenty of new eyes sure to be on Welsby.