Alex: We Know Task Ahead

ALEX Walmsley is only too aware of the task that faces Saints this Friday if they want to retain their Super League crown.

Leeds Rhinos lie between the Champions and a successive date with destiny at Old Trafford.

“There’s no bigger task facing us this week,” he said. “They’re coming off the back of winning the League Leaders’ Shield at Huddersfield – in the last minute – and will be full of confidence as a result.

“They have quality across the board and are the team of the year for sure. They play really well and are effective too.

“Adam Cuthbertson offloads, the backs play off that… then you have Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins. They have some real quality there.

“The personal battle with Jamie Peacock will be a good one. We haven’t got a bad pack ourselves too with great backs – but it will be in the middle where it is won.

“Headingley is a great stadium and the atmosphere is always on point. There will be a lot of emotion in the air too. We need to turn up and put in a performance befitting of Champions to get back to Old Trafford. We are looking forward to that challenge.

“There’s no additional motivation required for this one. It is a semi-final at Leeds. If you’re not up for that then you’re not in the right sport. There’s no need for big speeches; we know what our role is and what this game means to the club.

“We are motivated and fired up.”

Walmsley has had a stellar season in the Red Vee – and his return to the side, if he shakes off an ankle injury – will be huge for the Saints.

He won the Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and Foundation Members Player of the Year in Saints End of Season Awards, been nominated for Man of Steel, made more metres than anyone else and capped all that with his first induction into the Dream Team.

“I am absolutely made up about that to be honest,” he continued. “If you think of the quality of player you are up against then I feel really honoured.

“There are a lot of good props around that it makes this even more special. I am very proud of this.”

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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