Jon Wilkin praises the World Cup for being “un-northern” but says it was “too ambitious”

The Rugby League World Cup concluded last week with a terrific final between Australia and Samoa at Old Trafford.

The next World Cup is in 2025 in France but there is still plenty of time to reflect on the success of this tournament.

Speaking on the BBC 5 Live Rugby League World Cup podcast, former St Helens and England man Jon Wilkin opened up on what he thought about the tournament as a whole.

He praised the ambition of the tournament but suggested that it was perhaps a little too ambitious.

“It was ambitious was the tournament, wasn’t it?” Wilkin said, “It was probably too ambitious in some ways but I loved that I felt that our sport was finally ambitious in different directions.

“I feel like it has been a bit stagnant, a bit samey, he has gone and done something that is so un-northern, so un-British mentality.

“He said ‘we’re going to do things really different’ and they got some things wrong and some things right.

“The ambition and the intent of it was the star for me.”

Wilkin got to see the tournament up close through his coffee shop in Manchester which was frequented at by the Australian squad.

He joked that he wanted to slip something in their drinks on the day of the final: “I was thinking is there anything I could slip into their drinks, that’s how sinister my mind was.”

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