SAINTS' England international Alex Walmsley says the new rugby league season has come around too soon.

The 2018 Betfred Super League kicks off on Thursday when Leeds begin the defence of their title at Warrington, while Grand Final runners-up Castleford take on Walmsley's highly-fancied Saints 24 hours later.

Walmsley had less than a month to rest and recuperate after being in the England team that reached the World Cup final in Brisbane on December 2, and that came after playing virtually non-stop for the previous 10 months.

And, as he begins to consider a host of offers from NRL clubs, the former Batley prop forward admits Super League could take a lesson from their Australian counterparts, who do not begin their domestic season for another month.

"It was the pinnacle of my career, being on the biggest stage playing for England in the World Cup final against Australia," Walmsley said. "It was unbelievable, an incredible experience and something I'm really proud of.

"But it's back down to earth now. I could probably have done with a couple more weeks off to be honest, it comes thick and fast.

"I don't think we've had the time off we really should have had, especially when you look the teams in Australia. I hate comparing us to the NRL but I think we could have done with a few more weeks.

"When you think you start pre-season in November 2016 and you don't finish rugby until December 2017. It is a long time but that's the sport we play."