SKIPPER Jon Wilkin is relishing the prospect of leading out Saints for their Magic Weekend clash against Warrington Wolves at St James’ Park.
The Newcastle venue is a stadium he describes as ‘ one of the most iconic sporting venues in the country.’
Wilkin, who was born and raised 40 or so miles further down the east coast on Humberside, believes the North East public will buy into the two-day extravaganza and ticket sales so far suggest this will be the case.
He said:’’As a player, I would love to see the people of the North East really take to this and to get some of the Newcastle United and Sunderland fans coming to add the atmosphere they are so famous for up there.
“Newcastle Thunder are on the up again and that is great to see, and there is actually a good rugby league heritage in this part of the world which is not always widely acknowledged.”
Wilkin appears to be a fan of the concept, and has experience of Magic Weekends in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Manchester.
‘’For any person who has not been to a Magic Weekend before they will experience a real carnival atmosphere in which all sets of fans mingle together,” he said.
“It is a fabulous family event which ticks a lot of boxes, it is affordable and there is real colour around it with fans from 12 different clubs converging on the same venue.
“It is also a huge opportunity for Newcastle, and for the sport of rugby league. Lots of cities were vying to host this, but Newcastle won the decision.”