Perry looking forward to Saints stadium opener

James Gordon

St Helens prop Josh Perry admits it will be “pretty special” when he and his team-mates run out at the club’s new stadium for the first time, in a friendly against Widnes on January 20th.

Perry, 31, only managed 12 appearances in his first season at Saints, which they played on the road at the Vikings’ Stobart Stadium home, but he is looking forward to making an impact at Langtree Park in 2012.

He told the club’s official website: “It was tough as I missed more games last season than I have throughout my whole career. My family wasn’t with me too. That is all over now and I feel I am more established and settled at home too. I am thinking about football, training and getting everything right.

“But it’s really game on next season at this new stadium. Everything is fresh and everyone is feeding off the energy around the town. It will be pretty special running out there for the first time in that game against Widnes.

“We have work to do though and will have to play well to get a win. It isn’t like Knowsley Road which everyone hated to come to. Everyone will love to come here! Hopefully the fans will get along and make it uncomfortable for the opposition.

“We want to change what happened at the end of the season and we want to do well in the cup as well.”

Perry has enjoyed a full pre-season and will be one of a number of pack men that coach Royce Simmons will look to, following the departure of James Graham to the NRL.

Perry added: “Quite a few of us will have to fill the shoes of Jammer and Anthony Laffranchi is one who has been brought in to do that. 

“But myself and Louie will have to do that and Louie has been given the number 10 shirt too.”

Widnes travel to Langtree Park on January 20th for a 8pm kick-off, while the first visitors to the new stadium in Super League will be Salford, on February 10th.