CLUB NEWS

"I've supported United since I was a kid growing up in Oldham, so it'll be a crazy feeling to play for St Helens at Old Trafford on Saturday."

– Kyle Eastmond 

09/10/2009 08:08, Report by James Tuck
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Red relishes rugby final

As an avid United fan, St Helens' rising rugby league star Kyle Eastmond is doubly excited to be playing at Old Trafford this weekend.

St Helens face Leeds Rhinos in Saturday's Grand Final, the climax to the Super League season which has been held at United's home every year since its inception in 1998.

Oldham-born Eastmond grew up supporting the Reds and the youngster is relishing the chance to run out at Old Trafford for the first time, having been in the stands with his cousin, a United season ticket holder, in the past.

The 20-year-old half-back told ManUtd.com: "I've been to Old Trafford for the last two years with Saints and the atmosphere is unbelievable. I think it’s the perfect venue for the biggest game in the rugby league season.

"It’ll be a crazy feeling to play at United’s home, in front of 70,000 passionate fans, but I’m trying not to focus on it too much before the game. Saints have some happy memories of Old Trafford in the past, but we’ve lost to Leeds for the last two years there so hopefully we’ll put that right on Saturday."

Rugby pundits have compared Saints to United in the past and Eastmond, who opted for a career in rugby league as a 13-year-old despite interest from Oldham Athletic and Manchester City, can see why.

"United are pretty similar to us in that they play an entertaining style of football and have that never-say-die attitude," he added. "When it looks like the game’s gone, somebody pulls something out of the bag to get the result. Both sides do it so often, so I can see why people make the comparison."

The Rhinos are aiming to win the Grand Final for the fourth time in six years and captain Kevin Sinfield revealed his side have been influenced by the United ethos of bringing youth through to the first team. 

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