Ex-St Helens Jon Wilkin reveals Alex Walmsley moment made him realise it was time to retire

Jon Wilkin played nearly 500 games in a career that nearly spanned two decades.

So, when it comes to dissecting the sport, he is one of the best people to turn to.

This is perhaps why he is one of the most talked about pundits in the sport due to the bold opinions he brings informed by years of playing the game.

A Super League Champion in 2006 as Saints won the treble, he also won the Challenge Cup three times and the World Club Challenge in 2007.

He was an England and Great Britain international and this week was giving his view on England’s semi-final against Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup on BBC 5 Live’s Rugby League World Cup Podcast.

It has been acknowledged that England’s big test will be dealing with Samoa’s size and was asked what it is like to face that kind of power and size running at you.

He was open and honest about what goes through a player’s head in this moment and revealed that one of these instances led to him deciding that it was time to retire.

“It’s fear isn’t it. People are so hesitant to mention that word, you’re scared. It’s genuine fear and I think the only way to combat that is throw yourself into it,” he said.

“You know funnily enough the moment I knew I wanted to retire was we kicked off against St Helens and I was playing for Toronto and Alex Walmsley ran the ball back and I was running down there thinking to myself ‘why on earth are you doing this still?’

“It’s an incredibly interesting game.”

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