Tomkins' Kiwi ties no advantage for England
England fullback Sam Tomkins has denied his Warriors allegiances will give England any kind of advantage when they take on the Kiwis and four of Tomkins’ club teammates this weekend.
With Manu Vatuvei, Simon Mannering, Shaun Johnson and Thomas Leuluai all named by Stephen Kearney to play England, Tomkins believes any inside knowledge he has won't be of any assistance when the two nations step out onto Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium.
With Tomkins building quite the handy combination with halfback Johnson, their fluent NRL combination will be put aside with the fullback pointing out any extra information he does have will be irrelevant if England fail to stop Johnson's red hot form.
"I can probably read a little bit into what he is going to do but stopping him is a completely different beast," Tomkins told NRL.com.
"He is a world class player and I can tell the lads he is going to run at you and step but stopping him, well good luck to them, because it takes a lot of luck. But we'll do our homework and try and minimise his impact.”
Tomkins, 25, was also quick to point out the Warriors have a slightly different style of play to New Zealand’s national side. With Mannering and Vatuvei being two of the Kiwis’ danger men, the elusive fullback ultimately noted there are plenty of other non-Warriors Kiwis who will make life difficult.
"I know [my NRL teammates] are all quality players and it takes a lot to beat them, but I suppose I can give the lads... an insight into the way they play," Tomkins said.
"In saying that we at the Warriors play very differently to how the Kiwis play, and they have a lot of personnel that we don't know a lot about, and by the same token they know how I play my game... so it will obviously even itself out."
With the England international expressing his enthusiasm to return to New Zealand, because "it feels like home", Tomkins further insisted the makeup of England's spine will not be shown up by the likes of Kiwi hooker Issac Luke and five-eighth Kieran Foran.
While Tomkins and five-eighth Gareth Widdop had played for England before the Four Nations commenced, halfback Matty Smith and hookers Josh Hodgson and Daryl Clark weren't as lucky, having only just begun their international careers.
Despite their inexperience, Tomkins believes there is a good combination building between the five of them.
"I think Daryl Clark... is quickly becoming a standout player for this team already. His work ethic and the skill he possesses are second to none," Tomkins said.
"I think the other guys who have come in this year like Matty Smith for example – who I've played alongside at Wigan – is a very confident and capable player and Josh Hodgson has... done his job.
"Sure, the spine is new and it has taken a little bit of getting used to but I don't think it has ever been an issue for us."
Tomkins’ vote of confidence towards the rookie trio is sure to motivate the England spine, with the team chasing a win to hopefully secure a place in the Four Nations final on November 15 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.