Alex Walmsley speaks out after John Asiata tackle ended his season

There has been plenty of fallout from Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final between Leigh Leopards and St Helens – a match in which the Leopards won 12-10 to advance through to the final at Wembley Stadium next month.

Much of the talk since the game has been around John Asiata, with the Leigh star escaping any type of punishment for a series of tackles that injured and ended the seasons of Saints duo Alex Walmsley and Agnatius Paasi.

St Helens boss Paul Wellens spoke passionately in a press conference yesterday about the tackles from Asiata, in which he describes as reckless and dangerous, with Walmsley ruled out for 12 weeks and Paasi for nine months.

Wellens blasted the RFL’s decision to not punish Asiata, stating that he believes the decision has set a dangerous precedent across all forms of rugby league that it’s okay to ‘hurl yourself at player’s knees’ with no consequences – something he claims Asiata has been doing all season.

The injuries sustained to his players has undoubtedly angered Wellens, with England prop Walmsley to miss the end of the campaign for the second consecutive season having been ruled out of last year’s Super League run-in and World Cup with a foot injury.

It’s another devastating injury blow for Walmsley, who has taken to Instagram to share his feelings in which he described himself as ‘genuinely gutted’ to miss the remainder of the campaign.

“I’m genuinely gutted that my season has been cut short again through injury but I’m determined to come back stronger from this.

“Looking forward to supporting the team through these next few months as they chase something special again. Thank you for the support.”

Though Walmsley stopped short of addressing the actual tackle that ended his season, the fallout is set to continue with Saints boss Wellens claiming Asiata caused injuries to four of his players during Saturday’s game.

Whatever is said will be no consolation for Walmsley though, who will be hopeful he can regain his fitness and still be selected in Shaun Wane’s England squad for the end-of-season Test Series against Tonga.