Wilkin blasts Bailey for childish antics

Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Saints v Leeds 08/10/2011.'Wilkin salutes the fans
Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Saints v Leeds 08/10/2011.'Wilkin salutes the fans

JON Wilkin has laid into Ryan Bailey, labelling the Leeds prop “a child” after his post-match antics.

Bailey was seen taunting and gesturing towards Saints players after the final hooter.

The Leeds man has previous when it comes being an ungracious winner, but his latest outburst has provoked an angry response from the normally unflappable Wilkin.

“I’m embarrassed for him as a human being, not just a rugby league player,” said Wilkin.

“There are ways to win and a way to conduct yourself. He celebrates, he whoops, he squares up to our younger lads.

“I’ve never seen such a child play a man’s game in my life.

“I don’t think I’ll be the first to say the way he does it is petulant. He’s like a child, he’s been doing it for years.”

Wilkin’s comments came just 24 hours before Bailey was named in England’s Four Nation Squad alongside the St Helens ace.

He added: “From what I’ve learned as a professional sportsman, you conduct yourself in a way so that people respect you. I don’t have any respect for him. Look at Kevin Sinfield, Danny Buderus, Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire, who conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism.

“I know they are disappointed with the way he behaves. I’ve a lot of respect for Leeds – 16 of their players were the most gracious people in victory.”

Meanwhile, Wilkin, who is in his testimonial year with St Helens, says he wants to end his career with the club.

“I moved from Yorkshire and have been part of this community, and I won’t leave now,” he said.

“It’s my home now, and I’ll stay for the rest of my life.

“That’s how much the place means to me now, and I’ll hopefully finish my career at St Helens.

“As a player you try to embrace both sides of the game in a similar way.

“It must be devastating for the fans, the club and the town. The players put their heart and soul into everything, and to come up short again is disappointing for everybody.”