Wolves Test Is Crucial

JON Wilkin is a big fan of the Magic Weekend and says Saints’ match-up with Warrington is crucial as Super League enters a vital phase.

The skipper is set to return to the line-up after suspension in the two-day extravaganza.

“It is going to be a huge event,” he said. “The stadium and the city of Newcastle are ready for it and certainly all the teams are very focused on producing some good rugby at the weekend.

“The weekend is always good fun; last year I looked into the crowd and was a little envious of the fun some of the fans were having… it wasn’t so much fun on the field though as we got well and truly thumped by Warrington.

“I’ve always been a fan of Magic, it has really grown over the years and as well as the rugby it is a fun event to be at.

“Even if rugby league isn’t your thing then the atmosphere, music and colour make it good to be part of. Rugby is a friendly sport too and you can enjoy the games in a great atmosphere.”

He continued: “There are good reasons why Magic Weekend is in Newcastle. The Etihad is great in Manchester but is in quite an isolated location. This is a city centre stadium; it’s five minutes to the train station, the hotels are close by as well and that is a real bonus for the fans who want to come up for the weekend.

“The stadium is beautiful too and it will be an honour to walk out and play here.”

Saints’ record in recent Magic Weekends isn’t the greatest and with the First Utility Super League competition set to split after July 24, Sunday’s match with Warrington takes on greater significance.

“It’s a big game,” he continued. “You play Challenge Cup Finals and Grand Finals in front of 80,000 people and a big stadium like this creates that intensity of performance.

“For a lot of guys in the comp who don’t get to experience what it is like to play at Old Trafford or Wembley then for them Magic is huge.

“The game is really important for us in the context of our season. We are close to the split and we need to get ourselves into a solid position in the top four and as close to the top as possible.

“This fixture is a chance to put daylight between us and Warrington which they can’t get back.”

Tickets for the Magic Weekend – which sees Saints face Warrington in Sunday May 31 (3.15pm) are onsale from the RFL only. Click here for more information.

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