Veteran Toronto forward Jon Wilkin admits he came close to hanging up his boots at the end of last season.
Wilkin, 36, was persuaded not to be coach Brian McDermott to be part of the Wolfpack’s maiden Super League squad in 2020, as first reported in this week’s Off the Record column.
“Season finished, I was kind of ready for some normality in my life, the thought of going round again, I couldn’t visualise going back and training.
“I got my head round going back to training. It’s the training that’s hard, not the games.
“Brian McDermott came out to see me and we had a good honest chat, these are my fears, and just got to the middle and said I’ll keep going.”
Wilkin has made more than 450 appearances in a decorated career that started in 2002 with Hull KR.
It was at St Helens he spent the bulk of his career, appearing more than 400 times for Saints in 16 seasons, winning four Challenge Cups, a World Club Challenge and a Super League Grand Final.
He left Saints at the end of 2018 and moved to Toronto, helping them win last season’s Championship title.
The back-rower played six times for Great Britain, and represented England at the 2008 World Cup.