Ex-St Helens and England star Jon Wilkin disagrees with taking World Cup games out of the heartlands

EX-St Helens and England star Jon Wilkin believes that more Rugby League World Cup games should have been played in the heartlands rather than outside of it.

Group games ranged from venues in Newcastle to Bolton as well as Sheffield and Coventry whilst Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium was also chosen as a semi-final stadium with England playing just one game at a Super League venue.

That venue was the Wigan Warriors’ DW Stadium whilst the likes of Hull FC, Warrington Wolves, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Leigh Leopards hosted other group games.

But Wilkin is unsure why England’s games – as well as other games – were not played more in rugby league concentrated areas.

“Let’s just make it as tricky as possible for ourselves,” Wilkin said on the BBC. “I mean the draw was pretty nice, we had a nice draw – we had a great road to the final.

“But, play it in the heartlands. I think more games could have been retrospectively played closer to where people want to watch rugby with all that’s going on.”