England skipper Kevin Sinfield has hailed Paul Wellens as a “warrior and legend”.
The pair has locked horns countless times of the past decade and more, but the Leeds man has nothing but respect for his St Helens counterpart.
“I’ve had the privilege of playing alongside him as well as in the rep teams,” said Sinfield. “He’s an absolute warrior, a legend.
“He’s a school year above me - I keep reminding him of that when I see him - but he’s still going strong.
“To be able to re-invent yourself at 34 and play a variety of role, which he does, is magnificent and testament to Paul as a bloke and as an athlete.
“He’ll make a great coach. I know he’s not quite ready for that yet, but he’s a gem of a bloke.
“I’ve only got positive things to say about him and I’m glad he’s still playing.”