Super League: Paul Wellens aiming to make up for missing Manchester City celebrations with Magic Weekend victory at the Etihad over Warrington Wolves

Wellens is a passionate City fan and will lead out the Saints at the Etihad in the final match of the Magic Weekend on Sunday

Paul Wellens will be aiming to make up for the disappointment of missing his heroes' latest triumph when he leads St Helens out in the final match of Super League's Magic Weekend at Manchester's Etihad Stadium.

The former Great Britain full-back is a passionate Manchester City fan but while they were reclaiming their Barclays Premier League title with a 2-0 win over West Ham, he was helping Saints to a 50-0 victory at Bradford.

And he is hoping they can follow that up with a derby triumph over Warrington at the home of his favourite team on Sunday evening.

"Obviously I would have liked to have gone to the game but I certainly wouldn't have wanted to miss out on playing for Saints," Wellens said.

"So I gave my ticket away and my brother took my little lad and they enjoyed a great day and I did too. We had a great performance.

"I am looking forward to this game. It's obviously a great stadium and we really enjoy playing there. It's always a fantastic game against Warrington."

Wellens was especially keen not to miss out against the Bulls after coach Nathan Brown gave him a rare match off the previous week against London Broncos.

"I'd rather play but I sat down with Browny and we had a chat," said Wellens, who jointly with Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield holds the record for most Super League appearances and is expected to sign a new contract for 2015.

"He said 'it's a long season and a week off won't do you any harm' so I rested up, got rid of a few bumps and bruises and settled back into the team on Sunday.

"I think most players will tell you they'd rather be playing but sometimes you need to be protected from yourself."

Warrington are languishing in seventh place after winning just two of their last five matches but showed signs of regaining their touch with a 42-10 win over Catalan Dragons last week.

"They've had a lot of changes in personnel so it's been difficult for them, but certainly last week's performance against Catalan was a clear indication for me that they're moving in the right direction," Wellens said.

Warrington co-captain Michael Monaghan admits his side are still hurting from their 38-8 mauling by Saints in the opening match of the season.

"It was disappointing to start the season like that," he said. "We hadn't had a defeat like that for a while, in front of our home crowd as well, which was probably the most disappointing aspect of it.

"It won't be so much about revenge but restoring some pride after that performance."

The Saints-Warrington clash will bring down the curtain on the eighth Magic Weekend, with two West Yorkshire derbies getting the final day's action under way.

Six places separate Castleford and Wakefield but they go into the opening match on the back of contrasting form, and Wildcats boss Richard Agar believes his side may have turned the corner thanks to consecutive away wins over Hull and Widnes.

"It's funny how it changes," Agar said. "We had a tough trot of results but we never felt sorry for ourselves and, bit by bit, we've tried to get our season back on track.

"The defensive improvement over the last month is there for all to see and, although we've still got some major improvements with the ball, gradually we're finding half-back and hooking combinations that are working for us.

"We probably identified that by nine or 10 weeks in, we should be getting more familiar with each other and we're coming into fixtures where we do genuinely see opportunities to get our season going."

Castleford kick-started their 2013 campaign with a resounding 49-24 win over Wakefield at the Etihad and, under Daryl Powell, have not looked back since.

"Cas certainly look every inch a top-four side," Agar said. "I think they've been a real success story for the competition, playing to a consistently high standard every week.

"We were a bit out on our feet when this fixture came around last year. We feel we're in a bit better shape this time."

Huddersfield are boosted by the return of England forward Brett Ferres for their derby against Bradford as they look to extend their winning run to five matches.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform