Wilkin: Super League could be stronger than ever


Jon Wilkin believes Super League is shaping up to be stronger than ever this season, but the St Helens captain said it is too early to declare that the 2016 edition will be the best of all time.

Widnes Vikings are the surprise Super League leaders after dishing out a 56-12 hammering to last year's treble winners Leeds Rhinos on Sunday to make it two wins out of two.

The Rhinos are bottom of the table following a miserable start, while Hull FC, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors are level with the Vikings on four points.

Saints were also consigned to a drubbing, losing 44-10 to Salford Red Devils on Thursday, ahead of their World Club Series clash with Sydney Roosters this Friday.

Wilkin said all the signs are that Super League will be at another level this year as the so-called weaker sides can now hold their own, but he knows it is early days.

He told Omnisport: "Two games in, the signs are looking as though that's going to be the case, but I think you've got to get 10 or 12 games into the season and then we'll make that decision.

"I certainly think every club now is pretty much spending the salary cap - that's got to have an influence on the quality at the top end, it has to. And we've seen Salford and Widnes, Hull FC, who all look as though they've had great off-seasons and recruited very well.

"So you put those three into the pot and it looks likely that Super League is stronger than ever before, but you've got to be conscious of saying that because we say that quite a lot.

"It's like the best Super League ever - it's been the best Super League ever for 20 years consecutively, so I'm conscious of using that phrase, but let's see."

Wilkin added: "I think 10 years ago you had three or four sides that were just whipping boys, that were just in the competition because they needed to fulfil a number of fixtures.

"That's just not the case [now], especially this season now more teams are spending the cap due to the elevated TV deal. It's going to put more pressure on the top end of the competition and certainly more sides will be competitive as a result."