Talking Sport: Wello happy putting business first

Saints legend and Man City fanatic Paul Wellens
Saints legend and Man City fanatic Paul Wellens

I had a wry smile when reading an e-mail from the Rugby Football League

that Specsavers - the official partner of the First Utility Super League - had also teamed up with Leeds Rhinos player Jamie Peacock as its eyesight

ambassador on the pitch.

Part of the e-mail included a comment from top referee Richard

Silverwood who was among a group of whistlers present at the Leeds Specsavers store last week to ensure their eyesight was up to scratch and firmly focused on their game.

The 37-year-old Dewsbury-born international official said: ‘’Good vision is massively important for match officials as without it we wouldn’t be able to do our job.’’

Saints’ fans don’t need reminding of that -- they reckon Mr Silverwood made two wrong decisions in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup tie at Leeds which cost the club a place in the quarter finals of the competition, ending their Wembley dreams!

Incidentally, partnering Super League follows Specsavers successful sponsorship of the match officials at Rugby League World Cup last year.

g I was a case of business before pleasure for Paul Wellens (pictured) on Sunday.

As his beloved Manchester City were marching to their second Barclays Premiership title in three season, the Saints skipper was totally focused on ensuring his home-town club were heading for their 10th victory in 12 Super League outings when they faced Brdford at Odsal.

Wello had to spend the best part of an hour fidgeting on the subs’ but no doubt kept abreast of what was going on at the Etihad Stadium.

In the end it proved a good day all round for the club’s longest-serving player -

Saints crushing the Bulls 50-0 and City cruising to a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham United.

g Rugby League chief executive Nigel Wood’s assertion that the sport needs a higher international profile in order to realise its commercial potential

will be sweet music to the ears of my St Helens-born media colleague Ray French.

Ray - a dual code international during his playing days - has been banging his drum for goodness know how long for the powers-that-be to resurrect a British Lions tour of Australia which at on time of the day was one of the highlights of a players career and dovetailing with the World Cup and the Four Nations tournament could futher enhance the image of the sport on a global basis.

I just hope that Mr Wood will be able to use his persuasive powers as the new chairman of the Rugby League International Federation to get it off the ground, athough the Aussies are not always easy to please.