THE Halliwell Jones Stadium will be Saints prop Alex Walmsley’s ‘home’ today as he runs out on England duty in the game against the Combined Nations All Stars – but things could have been so different.

Little known to plenty of Saints fans is but for the world of quantity surveying, Warrington could have been Walmsley’s home.

The Wolves were among the first Super League clubs to have a sniff for the teenage Walmsley – but thankfully he was midway through his degree course at the time and rejected those overtures as “a dream”.

At that time Walmsley was playing for Dewsbury Celtic in the Summer Conference alongside the likes of Bramley Buffaloes, Hemel Hempstead Stags and Warrington Wizards.

“There were a few big teams in that division and some of the opponents were ex pros and getting paid.

“I got knocked about as a starting prop – it was a tough apprenticeship,” he said.

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But the performances of this raw-boned, tough tackling, metre eater were not going unnoticed, but fortunately for Saints at this time, Walmsley’s studies were being prioritised.

He said: “By 19 I was nominated for young player of the year and had the opportunity to go to Warrington academy.

“John Bastian, who was building the Warrington Academy system at the time, invited me over but I was in the second year of my Quantity Surveying degree at Leeds Met.

“That was more important because rugby was just a dream at the time and didn’t want to jeopardise my degree to chase a dream.

“I could have been Primrose and blue, but instead I carried on playing with my mates at amateur.”

How different could the course of history been for both teams had those studies not intervened.