Jon Wilkin praises St Helens resilience

Jon Wilkin
Wilkin has scored three tries in 22 Super League games for St Helens this season

St Helens forward Jon Wilkin says his team have proved they have a special resilience ahead of Saturday's sixth successive Grand Final apperarance.

Saints face Leeds at Old Trafford for the fourth time in five years, having lost each previous time to the Rhinos.

St Helens were also runners-up last season when beaten 22-10 by local rivals Wigan.

"As a club and as a group of players we enjoy getting back up off the canvas," Wilkin told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"To get to the Grand Final so many times is a reflection on our willingness to put ourselves in a position to be hurt again.

"For us wanting to keep coming back and feel that anguish again, it's credit to our attitude towards the sport and our attitude to being a success."

Yorkshire-born Wilkin, 27, who joined St Helens from Hull KR in 2002 and was a member of Saints' treble-winning team of 2006, has now played in five Grand Finals and four Challenge Cup Finals, as well as making six appearances for both England and Great Britain.

But he admits that he still suffers from big game nerves.

"Nerves are part of the process," said Wilkin. "I'm nervous before every game.

"That doesn't change, it just gets amplified and the pressure builds.

"The pressure releases next weekend and it would be lovely to have that pressure release in a positive way.

"We've got to make our tackles. Any big game is defined by missed tackles or defensive frailties, but if you make your tackles and the tackles that count, you're in with a good chance."

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