Tomkins cleared to return home


Published: Wednesday 8th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Sam Tomkins looks set for a Super League return after New Zealand Warriors announced the former Wigan player would be released early from his contract.

Homesick Tomkins, 26, has been linked with a return to his former club, with Wigan recently confirming their interest in re-signing the England full-back.

New Zealand Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said of Tomkins: “He came here excited about testing himself in the NRL and also experiencing living in a new country but, in the end, Sam has found it too much of a challenge being away from home.

“While we have talked with him and tried to work through it he has now come back to us to ask for a release at the end of the season.

“It’s disappointing that it has come to this but reluctantly we have accepted there is no option but to allow Sam to return to England.

“For now, though, he is determined to finish his time with the Vodafone Warriors in the best way he can. He’s working to recover from his knee injury as soon as possible so he can regain his spot in the team.”

Tomkins left Wigan after the 2013 season, but has unexpectedly found himself yearning for home.

He is contracted until the end of the 2016 campaign, but will instead move back to England for next season.

“I never imagined it would reach this point,” Tomkins said on the New Zealand Warriors website.

“This is a great club and I can’t say enough about the coaching staff. I love being with the lads and it’s a brilliant country to live in but I can only be honest and say I miss home in ways I never thought I would.

“I’m truly grateful to the Vodafone Warriors for agreeing to give me an early release and I am so determined to repay them for their consideration. All I want now is to get back out on the field to help us have a great season.”

A replacement for Tomkins has already been found by his Auckland-based club, with Kiwi international Roger Tuivasa-Sheck agreeing a three-year contract that will take effect from next season.

Tuivasa-Sheck will join from Sydney Roosters, with New Zealand Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden describing the 21-year-old on Wednesday as “a wonderful talent and a fantastic signing”.

McFadden will nevertheless be sorry to lose Tomkins, who joined the Warriors for a world record transfer fee – thought to be in the region of £700,000.

Tomkins is expected back in action in early May after sustaining a knee injury last month, and now knows this will be his final campaign with the club.

McFadden said: “This has been hanging over Sam at different times and there’s no doubt it has affected him.

“Now the way has been cleared and I’m sure he’ll excel once again when he comes back from this injury.

“We’ve seen the quality he provides when he’s in the side. He makes a huge difference to the way we play and I know how determined he’ll be to contribute over the rest of the season.”

Wigan appears the most likely destination for Tomkins, who could rejoin his brother Joel in the ranks at the DW Stadium.

Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said this week on the Wigan Today website: “If he became available we would be very interested.”

He added: “We’ve got the first option. If it gets to the point where he is available it is in our hands. And I’ll be delighted if that was the case.”

Published: Wednesday 8th April 2015 by The News Editor

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