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St Helens' Wilkin urges Super League chiefs to stick with fixture 'tradition'

Saints' Jon Wilkin Credit: PA Pictures

St Helens and England forward Jon Wilkin has urged officials to leave the Easter double-header intact but restore the Challenge Cup final to its traditional May slot.

The Rugby Football League's executive has embarked on a review of the domestic schedule and looks set to bow to pressure from Super League coaches to scrap the second game over Easter.

Wilkin, who is preparing to play his third blockbusting match in nine days when Saints go to Leeds in the fifth round of the Cup on Saturday, argues it would be folly to tamper with tradition.

Even in his role as chairman of the players' association 1eagu3, Wilkin believes the game's history and heritage should come before player welfare.

"I've really enjoyed the Easter period," Wilkin said. "To at be your best on Friday and then to be able to play on the Monday and having to play in a big game the week after, physically and mentally it's a huge challenge for players but it's one I really enjoy.

"I'm a big believer in the history and the heritage in the game. It's always been a big part of my experience of the game, whether it be a Hull derby or a Wigan-Saints derby.

"As a fan of the game, I sense a real buzz around the weekend. We're an entertainment industry and this is an entertaining part of the year for the fans."

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