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Wilkin's player profiles

Ever wondered which St Helens player (allegedly) irons and colour codes his underpants? Or who models their voice on soul legend Barry White?

606: DEBATE
Then your wait is over.

With the clock ticking down to Saturday's Challenge Cup final against Hull FC at Wembley, Saints star Jon Wilkin gives BBC Sport an insider's view of the Knowsley Road dressing room and the peculiar personalities to be found there.

PAUL CLOUGH
Paul Clough (photo courtesy of St Helens)

Date of Birth: 27 September 1987
Height: 1.83m
Weight: 98kg

Known in the squad as a strange character likely to join a conversation at any point and demand that you start from the beginning and tell him exactly what you have been discussing.

His day consists of asking the following questions: who was that? where was that? when was that? and so on.

Apart from asking these questions, Cloughy can often be found staring at people. He's a very wide-eyed and observant creature and his nickname "Owl" comes from that quality, not because his neck rotates beyond normal limits.

Cloughy has done an amazing job for a young player and is developing into one of our most consistent players.

KEIRON CUNNINGHAM
Keiron Cunningham
Date of Birth: 28 October 1976
Height: 1.75m
Weight: 102kg

There is very little I can say about him that hasn't already been said.

He is a great family man with time for everyone and has been a total inspiration to me in my career.

He has the driest sense of humour and can reel people in from distance. It's genius to watch a master of the art of uncomfortable silences at work.

KYLE EASTMOND

Kyle Eastmond
Date of Birth: 17 July 1989
Height: 1.67m
Weight: 75kg

He is the epitome of cool and is easily the coolest bloke in the changing room, if not the world.

Kyle has a smooth walk and his laidback approach to life is amazing to behold. If he was anymore laidback he would be horizontal!

His hobbies include being confident, driving in a slouched position and eating chicken. He is scarily fast and is so exciting to watch.

MAURIE FA'ASAVALU

Maurie Fa'savalu
Date of Birth: 12 January 1980
Height: 1.91m
Weight: 105kg

He should come with a health warning. He's a human wrecking ball and his hands have thrown me out of the way at training so many times, it is not funny.

Maurie has so much power it is scary and I am sure players from other teams must have nightmares about this guy.

He is a champion off the field and a really lovely chap with time for everyone.

CHRIS FLANNERY

Chris Flannery (photo courtesy of St Helens)

Date of Birth: 5 June 1980
Height: 1.86m
Weight: 100kg

He was brought up on the beautiful beaches of the Queensland coast and getting him and Matt Gidley off the topics of sand and fresh seafood is a daily challenge for the rest of us!

Chris settled into the squad very quickly and has made a seamless transition into English life, which for most Aussies is walking around and sulking about the drab grey weather and neglecting the art of conversation!

He is so versatile and tough and, away from rugby, he is hilarious to have around.

NICK FOZZARD

Nick Fozzard
Date of Birth: 22 July 1977
Height: 1.91m
Weight: 105kg

AKA Fozz. He is one of the funniest men in the changing room, both funny ha ha and funny.... hmmm that is not normal!

Fozz's hobbies include taking his top off in the gym and flexing and making grunting noises. He also enjoys getting the younger players to gather around him and chant his name like a small but dedicated cult.

Nick has done very well to recover from a bad injury and brings size and presence to our team every time he plays.

ADE GARDNER

Ade Gardner
Date of Birth: 26 June 1983
Height: 1.88m
Weight: 94kg

Well-known throughout the squad for his speed. Ade does everything at a high tempo, whether that be running, walking or driving. But he's not quite so quick to open his wallet in certain situations!

Gards likes to parade around in summer in a pair of tight rugby shorts and a vest as they really enhance his good features.

Apart from that, his hobbies are learning lines from obscure films and just generally being the font of all knowledge on anything to do with film or music.

Ade's try-scoring record has been immense and his contribution to our team is invaluable.

MATT GIDLEY
Matt Gidley
Date of Birth: 1 July 1977
Height: 1.86m
Weight: 94kg

One of the most distinguished centres in the game. He has had an amazing career and has been one of the premier players in the world since the early 1950s.

Matt's secret is he really looks after himself both during and after training. His post-match ritual is to immerse himself in his secret youth tonic.

Gids is an inspiration to be around and one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

LEE GILMOUR

Lee Gilmour

Date of Birth: 13 March 1978
Height: 1.88m
Weight: 99kg

A very knowledgeable guy and a perfectionist to the point of being weird.

He would research the composition of his undies if he could, to ensure he had an optimal blend of cotton and other fibres.

He has never been wrong and that's why we like him - a great player with speed and a great rugby mind.

JAMES GRAHAM

James Graham

Date of Birth: 10 September 1985
Height: 1.88m
Weight: 106kg

He is something of a hermit through the week and ringing James pre-lunchtime is a strict no-go area.

If you do get through, you are leaving yourself open to a grumpy/sleepy/incoherent selection of noises James calls speech.

He has been a massive influence on our performances and deserves all the plaudits he is getting.

BRYN HARGREAVES

Bryn Hargreaves

Date of Birth: 14 November 1985
Height: 1.83m
Weight: 103kg

AKA Mad Dog. He has a habit of randomly barking out statements when he is excited.

His growling can be deciphered into words but it can take a few minutes of careful reflection to ensure you have it right.

He is also a one-stop music and DVD store. His collection is simply vast.

Bryn has been one of our stand-out players this season and has made a name for himself for years to come.

SEAN LONG

Sean Long
Date of Birth: 24 September 1976
Height: 1.75m
Weight: 85kg

A dying breed in sport - a genuine character with weird habits and strange tendencies.

He loves changing his hair style and I would say the only one he hasn't tried out is the comb over. There is still time though and I wouldn't put it past him.

He has been an iconic player in the modern era but is as down to earth and easy to get on with as anyone I have ever met - a champion player.

FRANCIS MELI

Francis Meli

Date of Birth: 27 April 1979
Height: 1.88m
Weight: 100kg

A massive guy with pace and strength to match.

I am so glad he plays for us as I can only assume tackling him is very much like getting to grips with some kind of tank with studs on the tracks.

He does a lot of work people don't see and always plays tough.

LEON PRYCE

Leon Pryce
Date of Birth: 9 October 1981
Height: 1.91m
Weight: 98kg

Spends a lot of his time perfecting his impressions of players and coaches, both past and present.

He can quote every piece of commentary from his "101 Greatest Rugby League Tries" DVD - and why wouldn't you want to be able to do that!

His legs and arms are massive and move as if independent of the rest of his body, but he is a match-winner and has had style and leadership for us all year.

JAMES ROBY

James Roby
Date of Birth: 22 November 1985
Height: 178cm
Weight: 87kg

A very complex character with a mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder. He prides himself on his cleanliness, showering numerous times a day.

For those tricky in-between training moments, Robes has been known to carry a packet of face wipes in case he gets caught short.

There is also a vicious rumour that he irons and stores his underpants in colour and style order. He is great fun and has developed into one of the country's finest players.

PAUL SCULTHORPE

Paul Sculthorpe

Date of Birth: 22 September 1977
Height: 1.91m
Weight: 101kg

AKA Scully. One of the game's finest players. He has been a great ambassador for the game and his Barry White-esque voice makes his interviews memorable and a little bit sexy.

Scully can be credited with creating new expectations of players who play his position - he has size, pace, and a great paw (which is changing room slang for Scully's hand-off).

He enjoys nothing more than giving people "the paw" in the gym when you are not expecting it.

It is almost like he is constantly wearing those big foam hands seen in the crowds at American sporting events and a rugby ball looks the size of an egg in his man-beast palms. A legend of the game!

WILLIE TALAU

Willie Talau
Date of Birth: 25 January 1976
Height: 1.80m
Weight: 93kg

He might be vertically challenged but what he lacks in height, he makes up for in strength and speed.

Willie's hobbies include sit-ups, laughing really loud and tensing his abs in a mirror post sit-ups. Willie thought the credit crunch was a new abs workout!

He has been and still is one of the best overseas signings of all time at Saints and brings so much to the team.

PAUL WELLENS

Paul Wellens

Date of Birth: 27 February 1980
Height: 1.85m
Weight 96kg

A man who has his roots very firmly grounded in the town of St Helens.

He is obsessed with all things the town has to offer, whether that be a quick meat and spud pie as a treat or strolling round Taylor Park on his days off admiring the view and feeding the birds.

Paul's family and friends all live in St Helens so it is no surprise he rarely leaves and a trip down the East Lancs Road becomes daunting once he passes Haydock Island service station.

In my mind, he is without doubt one of the best full-backs this country has ever produced and a great bloke.

JON WILKIN

Jon Wilkin

Date of Birth: 1 November 1983
Height: 1.85m
Weight: 97kg

What can I say about myself? I don't really know!

I think the others would say I am one of the more annoying members of the squad, but in the nicest possible meaning of the word!

I would like to think I have a good sense of humour but I think often some of the things I find funny baffle other people and they can't quite understand what I am laughing at...

see also
Hull FC v St Helens
27 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Saints to shun Wembley walkabout
26 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Ask Jon Wilkin
26 Aug 08 |  St Helens
St Helens to let Sculthorpe leave
14 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Huddersfield 22-40 St Helens
24 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Anderson relieved to make Wembley
26 Jul 08 |  Rugby League
Wakefield 24-32 Hull FC
27 Jul 08 |  Rugby League


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