Wilkin Ready For Return

JON Wilkin is chomping at the bit to return to action – and provided he comes through training this week, he will be back for the trip to Leeds on Friday.

Saints’ Captain suffered a broken thumb last month which required surgery.

It meant a lengthy and frustrating time on the sidelines but all that is set to come to an end this week.

“It was an unusual injury,” he said. “It has been a little debilitating too; I have had bigger injuries that have been less damaging to my training. I have not been able to train with this one because I couldn’t use it.

“The medical staff did a great job though and I’m hopefully good to go this week.

“It was a frustrating time to pick up the injury, especially with what is happening on the field.

“The last month has been tough for the boys and tough for the club. If anything a bit of leadership and guidance was needed on the field – but it has been a great opportunity for some of the other guys in the team to learn and take on other roles.

“It has been an opportunity to see where those guys are coming from. When you look on the field you want to see confidence, direction and belief.

“When it is not going so well it is sometimes lacking, and that is where you need to find your leaders. There are maybe a couple of guys who have stepped up.

“A team that is quiet is one that is not performing and I feel we have been quiet.”

Wilkin’s return coincides with a trip to the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup holders and First Utility Super League table toppers.

Saints are yet to beat the Rhinos this year too – but have shown enough in each game to suggest they are capable of scoring points.

That said, those flurries of good form have come after Leeds have built commanding advantages.

“I’m not sure the Cup Final will have taken anything from Leeds,” Wilkin added. “They broke Hull KR down and scored points when they needed to.

“They have a good blend in their squad – with young players that have transitioned well into senior players. They have frailties though but I don’t think teams have taken them to a point where they can be exposed.

“We have to start with intent and get stuck in. We have stood back and watched them; they have scored points and then we have said ‘hang on, we are St Helens’ and had a dig. That’s too late.

“I think we are the side that can disrupt what they are doing as we have the resources on the field.

“I have a lot of respect for how they play. I don’t think they play to a structure and that catches teams out.

“At the end of the day they are a great side and next six weeks will say if they are one of the greatest sides. We can have a massive say on that.”

Tickets for Friday’s game remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.

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