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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Whitehaven RL sign St Helens kid Ben Karalius

Whitehaven have signed St Helens’ teenage scrum-half Ben Karalius on a 12-month deal.

The youngster, from one of RL’s most famous families, was a stand-out performer for Saints’ Under-20s this year, crossing 11 times in 20 appearances to put him third on the team’s try-scoring chart for the season.

And Haven rugby director Ralph Calvin believes he has the personality to ignite the team in attack.

Calvin said: “He’s a very exciting, attacking player. Speaking to the lad, he has that cheeky look, like an old-fashioned scrum-half, and I see him as a Boxer Walker type of player. He’s got good feet and a good kicking game, and I think he’ll be a big hit with spectators.

“I’m told by St Helens that he was far and away the best player in that team in three-quarters of their games this year. It’s just that they have a wealth of talent at half-back at present.”

He is the great-nephew of Saints legend Vince Karalius, one of Great Britain’s finest ever forwards, and the grandson of another GB star Tony Karalius.

“His family is steeped in rugby league and he has ambitions to make his mark in Super League,” Calvin added.

“The lad is full of confidence and he’s looking forward to stepping up and showing what he can do.”

Karalius, who turns 20 in December, spent two years on Saints’ scholarship books before penning a three-year deal with the club at 16.

He played for England Under-16s and was targeted by a string of top-flight clubs including Leeds Rhinos before opting for Knowsley Road.

“I could have stayed at St Helens and played in the reserves but I’ve signed for Whitehaven.

“It’s better for me,” said Karalius, who described himself as “an organiser who takes the ball to the line.”

“I made more tries than I scored this year but I scored a few. Whitehaven are looking for promotion next year and it sounded good.”

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