St Helens forward Jon Wilkin admits his side need to be ready for opponents Leeds Rhinos in Saturday’s colossal Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie, admitting they cannot take anything for granted despite their win earlier in the season.
Saints edged a 14-10 thriller back in March thanks to a late Tommy Makinson try, but Wilkin believes that the Rhinos will raise their game for the huge cup tie – as they have done so many times in the past.
“I know what Leeds are like in the big games; they can lay dormant for weeks and weeks and then do a real number on you. We need to be ready for that because they;ll explode into this game, because they always do in the really big games,” Wilkin said.
The focus will be on the plethora of young, English talent on show on Saturday afternoon at Headingley, with both the Saints and the Rhinos likely to field a number of English outside backs in the contest. Wilkin believes that the game is now producing genuine international quality in the backs, although he refused to comment on which club was producing the best talent!
“There’s a lot of good young English players, especially outside backs. It’s not something we’ve been flush with over the last 10 years, but now we’ve got some genuine international quality in terms of the outside backs.
“I’m not going to get into a debate about who’s got the best backs, but I think it’s safe to say Wigan, Leeds and ourselves have all got unbelievable outside backs. It’s not a competition who’s got the best!”
You can read a full preview for St Helens v Leeds Rhinos – including more of Jon Wilkin’s thoughts ahead of the game – in tomorrow’s landmark DIGITAL-ONLY edition of League Express. Click the link for information on how to get hold of a copy.