Journalism students at Liverpool John Moores University went behind the scenes as champions St Helens returned to the Totally Wicked Stadium this month to defend their Super League title.
St Helens, fresh from winning rugby league’s World Club Challenge in February, hosted groups of students for their home games against Leeds on March 3 and Hull FC on March 17.
The BA Sports Journalism and Journalism students observed post-match press conferences and secured round-table interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport, including Saints captain James Roby.
BA Sports Journalism programme leader Dave Randles said: “We can’t thank Saints enough for such a warm welcome and putting some of their top players up for interview. The students took lots away from the experience and really benefited from going behind the scenes at an elite sports event.
“It’s so important for our trainee sports reporters to get a real sense of the live matchday workflow to help build confidence and prepare them for careers in sports media.”
Students also interviewed Tonga internationals Will Hopoate and Konrad Hurrell, and enjoyed the action as both games, a 25-24 loss to Leeds and 20-12 victory over Hull FC, provided gripping entertainment.
First year Sports Journalism student Neive Clarke said: “Getting the chance to become part of the press for the St Helens rugby match against Leeds Rhinos was a great experience.
“The visit showed the reality of being involved in the press and how other journalists in the industry portrayed professionalism and responsibility while knowing when to ask the difficult questions.”
Sports journalism student Joe Matthews added: “The whole event was fantastic, and a great insight into how the media functions under real-life pressure.”
The trips were organised by senior lecturer Tom McCooey, a former rugby league journalist.
Top class of @Saints1890 for such a warm welcome as @JMUJournalism Sports Journalism students interviewed James Roby & Will Hopoate, watched the match and observed the presser last night. Brilliant experience. And what a game (despite the result) ! 🏉👌 #thanks #sportsjournalism pic.twitter.com/yrt5LXlLB6
— David Randles (@DavidRandles) March 4, 2023