Talking Sport - Wello’s straight talk

Saints skipper Paul Wellens
Saints skipper Paul Wellens

Head to the Super League website and listen to a fascinating interview by two St Helens-born rugby league legends.

Saints club skipper Paul Wellens and former Warrington Wolves ace Lee Briers, who were born and raised a stone’s throw from the old Knowsley Road stadium, give their expert views on life since the switch to summer rugby and how they see future changes which will include the return of

promotion and relegation.

They also talk about the evolution of the game after it went fully professional and how training methods have altered, average Aussie players picking up inflate wages, and the value of the old A-team system which gave up-and-coming youngsters the chance to face what Paul described as ‘grown men’.

The interview was conducted at the Griffin Inn, Eccleston.

I know there are some people who, rightly or wrongly, think the only good thing to come out of Wigan is the road to St Helens but it would be a great gesture if sports lovers of both towns jumped to the aid of a fire ravaged amateur rugby league club.

Wigan-based Ashton Bears, who do sterling work in the community, were left devastated when their clubhouse was destroyed by fire, leaving them with estimated damage of £100,000.

The RFL has already stepped in to offer practical assistance but I would vurge sports fans in general from St Helens and Wigan to dig deep into their pocketsvand help the club rise from the ashes.

Donations, large or small, should be sent to the club’s Just Giving site www.justgiving.com/yimby/Ashtonbears

I know it would be gratefully appreciated and received.

Sam Burgess’ decision to defect to the 15-a-side code at the end of the current season is a kick in the teeth for rugby league.

It comes only a few months after we had been celebrating - and quite rightly - the success of the 2013 World Cup on our shores and the massive boost it gave the sport on a global scale.

Now we learn that the former Bradford Bulls and England international - currently playing with the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the NRL - is to join Bath in a cross-code deal worth £500,000.

Who will be next?