By Josh Barrowcliff, Date: 14/11/13
Sam Tomkins is confident he can sign-off with a win at his home stadium when England face on France in a Rugby League World Cup 2013 quarter-final at Wigan on Saturday November 16 (8.00pm).
The Wigan full-back made over 150 appearances for the Warriors and helped them complete a memorable and rare Tetley’s Challenge Cup and Super League double this summer, his last season before he joins New Zealand Warriors in the NRL.
The 24-year-old appreciates the support he has received from Wigan fans over the years and is looking forward to his return to the DW Stadium on Saturday, when England seek to progress to the semi-finals.
“I am extremely excited to play at the DW Stadium again,” said Tomkins. “It is a fantastic venue and I have got nothing but happy memories from my time there.
“It will be nice to go back, I was not sure if I would get the opportunity to play there again and to be given the chance so soon is brilliant.
“Of course this will probably be my last chance to play there for a number of years and I am sure there will be a number of Wigan supporters out in force so it will be great to see them.
“I understand that my Wigan career is over now but I have always appreciated the fans and what they have done for me, so for them to come and see me play on home soil in an England jersey will be good.”
England’s talisman knows that his side will have to work hard if they are to come out on top against a French side that is yet to show its best form at RLWC2013, though he is confident in England’s abilities and the unity that his side has developed.
“France try to dominant with their forwards,” said Tomkins. “They have got a lot of Catalan players in the squad who play together week-in, week-out so they have the benefit of a ready-made team which does go in their favour unlike any other country.
“Certainly one of their players to look out for is Morgan Escare, the full-back. I would say that he is one of the best young talents in Super League at the moment.
“He has got what you cannot teach, which is electric speed, so I think they will look to get the ball to him in the back-up plays and he will be looking to get outside some of our big blokes so we will be looking to shut him down.
“We all have a great understanding with each other and I think that is very important going into a game like this, that you are very confident and understand the players around you. It helps you to play your best rugby and that is why it is so great that we all have a close bond and unity that will help us enormously.
“Our performances have not been brilliant throughout the tournament, but I think that we have shown for large parts in all of the games that we can compete with anyone and we are looking to build and improve at this stage.
“The aim has always been to win as many games as we possibly could, we pushed the Aussies close and just lost out but we are going to come back stronger and that will stand us in good stead for any challenges to come.”
Over 20,000 tickets have already been sold for the England v France RLWC2013 quarter-final at the DW Stadium, Wigan, on Saturday but fans still have time to secure their seat from as little as £15 for adults and £7.50 for concessions. To purchase your ticket, please visit www.rlwc2013.com/tickets or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.