“It’s not an excuse” – Paul Wellens details impact of 53 hour journey home

Saturday was a great day for St Helens as they won the World Club Challenge in Australia but it has been a struggle since then.

Coach Paul Wellens revealed to BBC Breakfast that it took 53 hours to get home due to complications which is good news for Sunday’s opponents Castleford Tigers:

“Its one thing doing it on the training field but it’s another to do it under such pressure like we did at the weekend. That’s why I hold this group of players in the highest regard because doing it under pressure is what matters in professional sport.”

“It took 53 hours to get home door to door through various complications along the way, but it was made all the more easier to cope with off the back of a win, that’s for sure.”

The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that half a dozen players and staff, including James Roby and Jack Welsby, flew out of Sydney at 6am on Sunday, and did not arrive home until 1am Tuesday as the Saints stars missed a plane and in the end had to take a coach.

The Herald elaborated: “The players went via Bangkok and then Stockholm, where there was plenty of snow and a cancelled flight, only for an eventual plane to take them to London instead of Manchester.

“The group then missed the connecting flight to Manchester, and had to rely on one of their sponsors, Ellisons, to arrange a coach to complete the four-and-a-half hour trip back to St Helens.”

Now Paul Wellens has detailed the impact of this on him and his players, those of which were on these missed flights.

He said:

“The reality of the situation is that it will impact us, but it won’t be an excuse for our performance.

“We have still a few more days to get the body clock back in order.

“It is a different challenge for us, but the group are very confident and I am very confident in the group to get our heads right and what we need is a very strong effort.

“We’re not expecting perfection but once the whistle goes on Sunday we will be ready to go.”

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