Wellens’ a history boy

The evergreen Paul Wellens in action against Leeds last weekend
The evergreen Paul Wellens in action against Leeds last weekend
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Paul Wellens is hoping history repeats itself when Saints face Huddersfield Giants in the fourth round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup on Sunday.

The mouth-watering tie is a repeat of the 2006 final when Saints, then led by coach Daniel Anderson, were victorious and went on to claim a domestic treble.

That season is, understandably, one that Wellens looks back on with immense pride.

“It was fantastic and it was part of a pretty remarkable year for the club,” said Wellens.

“Obviously winning the Challenge Cup is special any time but we played some fantastic stuff in the build-up to facing Huddersfield who were rank outsiders at that time.

“They will certainly pose different challenges on Sunday to the ones we were posed back in 2006. We’re under no illusions about how difficult going to Huddersfield and winning is.

“Certainly a trademark since Paul Anderson has been there is the size and the physicality of the team. I think that has certainly helped them with the consistency they have had over the last 12 to 18 months.

“But the season has gone really well for us and I think we can take a lot of confidence from that - with seven wins from seven we are playing some really good stuff.”

In 2006 St Helens triumphed over the Giants in one of only two the Challenge Cup finals to be staged at Twickenham Stadium in the history of the

competition and Wellens is proud to be written into the history of such a prestigious tournament.

“The Challenge Cup is competition that, personally, I love and everybody in Rugby League loves,” said Wellens.

“The history and tradition behind it is what makes it so special. People say that no matter what age you are, you grow up knowing Wembley finals.

“You are well aware of the great players and the great teams that have won Challenge Cups, and it is certainly not lost on any of the players.

“Every year, when you enter the competition, the first thing you do is look back and remember some of those special finals that you watched as a child.

“I was very lucky in that very early on in my career, I won something. It started the fire, you are not happy with only one trophy - you want to go and win more. That first one is really important so I just hope we can do that for a lot of our young players.”