Former NRL player has stark warning for St Helens

The NRL will adjust the kick-off times to NRL Pre-Season matches on Saturday, including the World Club Challenge between Penrith Panthers and St Helens.

The decision was made due to player safety concerns around the forecasted heat and humidity in Regional NSW and Western Sydney.

The has thanked broadcast partners FOX, SKY NZ and SKY UK as well as participating clubs (St George Illawarra Dragons, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers, St Helens, Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys) as well as venues for their cooperation and flexibility.

Updated UK kick off times for Saturday’s games

5.20am — Dragons v Rabbitohs at Glen Willow Oval, Mudgee

7.50am — Panthers v St Helens at Bluebet Stadium, Penrith

9:55am — Broncos v Cowboys at Sunshine Coast Stadium

The World Club Challenge is set to be shown live on Channel 4 with coverage starting from 6:45 am.

Meanwhile Sky Sports will also be showing the game on Main Event and Arena from 7:00 am.

These changes come as Saints were warned of “deadly” weather.

Former South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Nathan Gibbs who is a doctor in the impact of the significant heat in Sydney’s west has issued a warning for St Helens.

‘Serious heat illness can kill you,’ Dr Gibbs said according to the Daily Mail.

‘Heat stroke is deadly. Heat stress doesn’t occur suddenly. You need the medical staff to closely monitor players who are starting to develop signs of dehydration, which include fatigue, cramping and exhaustion.

‘The Australian players have been training here all summer so they are acclimatised to the heat. Acclimatisation is a big part of preparing for heat stress.’

Meanwhile, former NRL player Daniel Shepherd also has a warning for St Helens.

Shepherd suffered heat stroke back in 1990 during a game for Sydney Roosters and is concerned when he sees players forced to play in overseas conditions.

‘I was in a coma for 14 days and was in hospital for six weeks,’ Shepherd told The Daily Telegraph.

‘It was really serious, I was touch and go. Things weren’t looking good.

‘They actually had a service for me, it was Cardinal Freeman. They had that because they thought, more or less, than I wouldn’t be here.

‘It was a frightening time. It could have been a different outcome and I might not have been here.

‘The specialist said I had intravascular coagulation. The lucky part was that I got out of it all and I’ve come through it well,’ he continued.

‘Touch wood, I was lucky. And I have no side-effects.’

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