Early exit not an option for Tomkins

Outgoing Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins has rubbished suggestions that he should head home to England before the end of the season, as a knee injury continues to disrupt his 2015 campaign.

He has not been named in the club's line-up for Round 15, with youngster Tuimoala Lolohea again set to fill the fullback role.

Since rupturing the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against the Eels in Round 3, Tomkins has managed just one appearance and has been a late withdrawal in the Warriors' last two games.  

 

That has led to sections of the club's frustrated fans calling for him to return to England – where he has inked a four-year deal with former team Wigan – allowing the Warriors to develop a player who has a future at the club. 

But Tomkins said on Tuesday that there was no chance of that happening.

"I didn't know anyone had said that, that's the first I've heard of it, but no-one at the club is saying that and that's what matters really," the English international said.

"Stuff like that doesn't bother me at all, people that know me know I'm trying hard.

"It's getting stronger week after week, it's been steady progression. It feels pretty good, I trained quite well today so hopefully it's in the right direction."

Coach Andrew McFadden was similarly miffed with suggestions Tomkins should end his stint in the Telstra Premiership early, but refused to be rushed into bringing the fullback back into the side.

"He is a class act [and] people probably don't understand what he gives us in terms of leadership and direction, he just takes that pressure off our halves," McFadden said of Tomkins. 

"He is extremely determined to finish the season off strong with the Warriors, so it's really silly to suggest he goes.

"You have just got to watch some footage from last year and what he added to our side, it could be the difference for us at the moment.

"Until we can get it to a position where he can back up training after training and game after game I don't want to push him too hard.

"He is a unique athlete Sam, he has a real flexibility around him and doesn't have a lot of muscle bulk like some of these other athletes, so that has probably been the cause of that extra time it's taken."

The loss of Tomkins has hit the Warriors hard in a season where they have also been without established backline members Ngani Laumape, Ben Henry David Fusitu'a and Glen Fisiiahi for most for most of the year.

In his first season of NRL footy last year Tomkins scored 13 tries, set up another 13 and assisted 18 line breaks, appearing in every match for the New Zealand side.

The stint on the sidelines has been a foreign experience for him, having only missed five games across six seasons in the Super League by his count. 

"It's frustrating just watching and knowing that you can't have any influence on the game," Tomkins said. 

"It's hard for me, I've been really lucky with injury, in six years playing in England I only missed I think five games, so for me it's difficult and not something I am used to.

"I get asked every single week whether I have given my best yet, but hopefully I have still got some of my best rugby league to come, there's a while left in the season yet."

Warriors team for Round 15
1 Tuimoala Lolohea
2 Ken Maumalo
3 Konrad Hurrell
4 Solomone Kata
5 Manu Vatuvei
6 Chad Townsend
7 Shaun Johnson
8 Jacob Lillyman
9 Nathan Friend
10 Ben Matulino
11 Bodene Thompson
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Simon Mannering (c)
Interchange:
14 Siliva Havili
15 Seb Ikahihifo
16 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
17 Charlie Gubb
18 Albert Vete

Video courtesy of Warriors.co.nz