Wilkin expecting new Catalans to make a mark

Jon Wilkin is expecting Todd Carney and Willie Tonga to be keen to impress when St Helens welcome Catalans Dragons to Langtree Park this evening.

The two Australians are joined in the Dragons’ squad by Remi Casty, who has returned to the club after a season in Australia with the Sydney Roosters.

“I think they’ve recruited fantastically well,” Wilkin said.

“They’ve got a real smart player in Carney, who is a running threat and probably what they needed to complement Scotty Dureau.

“They’ve also got Willie Tonga coming into the side and, with the way Zeb Taia and Elliott Whitehead finished the season, they’ve got strike across the park.

“We’re well aware of how strong they are and, as a result, we’re prepping for a massive first game of the season.

“A lot of the talk has been about Catalans Dragons and how well they’ve recruited and it’s a huge opportunity for us.

“With a fully-fit squad, St Helens are as good as anybody out there.”

Wilkin is a back rower by trade, but Saints’ new skipper knows that with Luke Walsh still out injured he may be called upon to play in the halves again.

“I’ll play any position,” he said.

“We’ve been working on a few things in training. There’s a few guys who can play in Luke’s position. It’s up to Keiron to make the decision.

“I want to influence the game, I’ve been itching to play. I’ve had four or five months of training building up for this game and I’m excited to be back.”

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