Exciting times

Saints Player Jon Wilkin
Saints Player Jon Wilkin

JON Wilkin has hailed Saints as “the most exciting club in Super League” ahead of the eagerly-anticipated 2012 season.

The utility forward, 28, reckons Saints will set a new benchmark next year – both on and off the pitch.

Of course, the club is set to play at state-of-the-art Langtree Park in 2012, and has already bolstered their ranks with the signings of NRL duo Anthony Laffranchi and Lance Hohaia.

Wilkin said: “St Helens is certainly the most exciting club in Super League going into 2012.

“On the field, we have developed a squad this year, with some of the star names we’ve brought in from Australia.

“But also when you look at the stadium and the business aspect of the club, it’s such an exciting time to be around.”

Saints’ first Super League game at their new home is against Salford in February, which will be the first top-level game in the town since the 42-22 play-off win over Huddersfield in 2010 – following a season in Widnes.

A capacity crowd of 18,000 is expected for the visit of the Reds, and Wilkin hopes the fans will help to turn the new arena into a fortress.

“In rugby league terms, we’ve the finest stadium in the country,” he added.

“Your mind does get carried away thinking of walking out of the tunnel, and imagining what it’s going to be like on a derby day against Wigan.

“This season is going to be exciting for the fans from that perspective as well.

“They’re going to want to fill the stadium, and really create an atmosphere that the players will thrive in.

“They’ll want to make it a difficult and hard place to play in for other sides.”