Gary Hetherington reveals Leeds Rhinos missed out on signing former St Helens stalwart

LEEDS RHINOS chief executive Gary Hetherington has revealed that the West Yorkshire club missed out on signing former St Helens stalwart Jon Wilkin.

Hetherington, who has been at the helm of the Rhinos since the 1990s, admitted that he thought Wilkin was ‘too small’ during a hilarious interaction between the duo on Sky Sports’ The Bench podcast.

Though Hetherington and Leeds looked to sign the current Sky Sports pundit, St Helens stole a march on them and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hetherington told Wilkin on the podcast: “I was actually recommended you at a very early age. You were at university in Liverpool and we obviously didn’t move fast enough as St Helens nipped in and you gave great service to St Helens.

“I’ve got a good memory and particularly on the ones I made a mistake on. I didn’t think you were big enough actually! But you made up for it with your skills and other abilities.”

Wilkin, of course, went on to make 424 appearances for Saints over a 19-year career, earning ten England and six Great Britain caps in the process.

The 40-year-old actually began his career at Hull KR, debuting in 2000 and going on to make just shy of 50 appearances for the East Yorkshire club before moving to Saints.

Wilkin finished his career with the Toronto Wolfpack, hanging up his boots in 2020.

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