Travis is an injury-free Saint ready for 2016 super season
AFTER three years in the English Super League competition, former NRL five-eighth Travis Burns returned home to Texas to spend Christmas with his family.
Having moved to the UK to join Hull FC in 2014, Burns transferred to St Helens for the 2015 season, which saw the side finish second in Super League and fourth in Super 8s.
The former Penrith Panther player reunited with teammate Luke Walsh at St Helens but never formed the partnership fans were hoping for.
"Walsh spent a lot of the year recovering from injury and then I had shoulder surgery and a couple of back injuries during the season," he said.
"They were niggling injuries I've never had before and it made it hard for us to click without much time on the field together.
"It was a tough year with injuries for the club, we went through about five fullbacks over the year."
The 31-year-old returned home after pre-season training at Cassius Camps with 42 Royal Marine Commandos.
"It was the toughest pre-season training I've ever had in NRL or Super League," he said.
"With the club's reputation and our roster this season we should be up there as close favourites.
"St Helen's have so much history and the fans expect us to win."
Born in Texas, Burns started his professional career as a rugby league player with the Manly Sea Eagles in 2005.
Despite now playing on the other side of the world, Burns said he still keeps an eye on the team that gave him his first break.
"A lot of the guys I used to play with in reserve grade at Manly have moved on but I'll always follow the side," he said.
"I think they've done a great job buying players for next season."
Burns said one former Manly teammate he hopes to see more of this year is Glenn Stewart.
"Glenn was the best man at my wedding and we used to play reserve grade together," he said.
"Glenn and Dave Taylor from the Titans have signed with Catalans Dragons next year so I'll get to see him on the field again."
With plenty to play for in 2016, Burns said the move to the UK had been a smart one.
"My partner and children are with me over there and it's been a great experience," he said.
"Jake's just started at school and we have some family living in London we go and visit.
"It's great to be a part of the Saints side and the level of competition in the Super League is getting better every year."