Wellens hoping Grand Final win can trigger years of St Helens glory

St Helens veteran Paul Wellens hopes that this year’s Grand Final against Wigan can be a catalyst for years of glory at his club.

Saints have overcome the adversity of a crippling injury list this season to win the League Leaders Shield and reach the Grand Final.

After a long run of reaching finals without winning them, Wellens feels that his team are well moitvated for this weekend’s clash with the Warriors.

“I don’t think any results in the past have any bearing on how we’re going to perform at the weekend,” he said.

“But we’re going to be a very determined group and we’re going to go out and give it absolutely everything.

“We understand that we’ve been written off a few times this year, and we’ve kept bouncing back as a group.

“We keep showing what we’re capable of, and hopefully we can do that again on Saturday.

“There’s a number of players leaving, and the coach is leaving at the end of the year, so obviously we’d like to send them off with a Grand Final winner’s ring and a smile on their face.

“But it’s not just for the players who are leaving, it’s also for the players who are going to be at the club for the next few years.

“We want to perform well, and if we can do that and, fingers crossed, take the trophy home on Saturday, it can be the catalyst for many more to come for this group.”

Wellens also knows that the fierce rivalry between Saints and Wigan will add some extra spice to the occasion at Old Trafford.

From their two meetings this season, each club has one victory.

“It’s a fantastic occasion, and one that we as a team are really excited about,” he said.

“Wigan are a formidable team, and they’ve shown that on frequent occasions in recent years.

“It’s going to be a real tough challenge, and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.

“There’s an intense rivalry between the two clubs that goes back many years.

“It’s great to be part of that, but both clubs have a huge amount of respect for each other as well.

“Being at a Grand Final – there’s no bigger stage.

“It’s one apiece this year. They beat us quite comfortably back on Good Friday at Langtree Park, and we managed to get a win at the DW Stadium a few months later.

“Both were extremely tough games, as you’d expect, but I don’t think either will have any bearing on this week’s game.

“It’s about the performance on the day for 80 minutes. Without doubt, you’re going to see two very committed teams.

“I understand the rivalry between the fans, it transcends families, workplaces, schools, you name it.

“It’s a great rivalry and both teams have a lot of respect for each other, but the rivalry starts when you’re very young.

“I think to really understand it, you’ve got to be a part of it.”

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