You cannot prepare for the intensity of the Grand Final

Eight-time Grand Final winner Rob Burrow says Salford and St Helens will face intensity like nothing else at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Burrow, 37, hung up his boots two years ago after winning an eighth Super League crown with Leeds, and he was the Harry Sunderland Trophy winner for man of the match in two of those triumphs.

That win in 2017 was against Castleford, who were playing in their first Grand Final, and Salford will be just the eighth team to play on the big stage at the theatre of dreams.

He said: “Both teams have been playing well going in to the Grand Final, but it’s a game like no other. The intensity rises massively, the spine of the team needs to play well, and it’s about finding a performance you haven’t found all year.

“You’ve got to make a mark on the game quite early. In finals, they seem to pass you by, one minute there’s five minutes on the clock and next minute there’s 65 minutes.

“My advice is get in to the game early and make your stamp.”

While it’s Salford’s maiden Grand Final, St Helens are no stranger to it, having appeared in 10 since the first in 1998.

Their new stadium was even built to match the pitch dimensions of Old Trafford, such was their determination to end their Old Trafford hoodoo, having suffered defeat in five successive years from 2007.

They ended that run with a win over Wigan in 2014, in the infamous Ben Flower final, and were runaway league leaders this term.