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Rush backs Wilkin to bounce back after England disappointment
SAINTS coach Mike Rush has backed Jon Wilkin to bounce back from his disappointment of skippering England to defeat against the Exiles on Wednesday.
Wilkin looked downbeat after an experimental and youthful national side was beaten 32-20 at Huddersfield.
Rush, who was assisting Daniel Anderson with the victorious Exiles, said: “I am sure Jon upset because that was his first game as England captain and you want to win them all. That is international rugby. It must have been a great honour for Jon and his family – his mum and dad follow him everywhere.
“He is back in camp with us now and preparing for the game on Sunday. Without trying to devalue the Exiles game, that will soon be forgotten and he will turn his focus to Sunday pretty quickly and getting a win over Widnes.”
Saints’ England players Wilkin and James Roby, plus Exiles trio Anthony Laffranchi, Sia Soliola and Francis Meli all came through the game unscathed and are all expected to play at Widnes.
“Everyone come through OK – there was a bit of tiredness and a few sore muscles. We will not name a team until Saturday.
“Lance Hohaia has a foot injury and is not by any means 100 per cent guaranteed to play. He wants to play, but you have to lean on your medical staff too,” Rush said.
With Jonny Lomax already ruled out with a rib injury, if Hohaia is not fit Saints’ fall back option would be to put Wilkin in the halves and draft Andrew Dixon pack into the vacated back row berth.