Former Wigan Warriors star Sam Tomkins is set for a return to Super League after New Zealand Warriors agreed to release him from his contract.
Tomkins, who moved to the Auckland-based NRL club last year, asked the NZ Warriors to allow him to leave at the end of the current season, citing homesickness as the main issue.
And the Wigan-born 26-year-old, who shone for the Warriors before his move down under, hasn’t ruled out an emotional return to the DW Stadium, with Shaun Wane’s side having declared their interest in re-signing him.
“I’ve not worked that out just yet,” he said.
“My first thing was to sort it out over here that I could go back but as far as who I’d be playing for. I’m not too sure just yet.
“Hopefully that will be sorted in the not too distant future. The Warriors are a great club and I’ve enjoyed every minute of being amongst that group but New Zealand’s pretty far from Wigan, where all my family live, so I want to be back in England, around my family.
“That’s where my brothers play (Wigan) and that’s where I’m from but I’m open to other places. As it’s happening, I’m just figuring out what’s going to be the best option for me.
“Wigan would be nice, but I know it’ not the only team I can go to.”
Despite his struggle to settle down-under, Tomkins has become a key player for the NRL outfit during his time there.
However, there is some concern that, instead of returning to Super League, he may follow in the shoes of another Super League and NRL star Sam Burgess, who switched to Rugby Union at the end of 2014.
But Tomkins, who cost the NZ Warriors a world-record £700,000, did not comment on that possibility, insisting that he is aiming to us the skills he has picked up in the NRL to better the game back home.
“Between the top teams there’s hardly any difference (between Super League and NRL), but there’s probably a few more good teams here than there are back in England,” he added.
“I’d say the top sides in Super League are the same as the top sides here, but I’d say in Super League there’s teams that aren’t as consistent whereas over here in the NRL.
“Each week you’re in a tough game and I think the talent is a bit more evenly spread across the teams over here, so hopefully i’ve learned a lot that I can bring back with me.
“It was a really tough decision to leave the (NZ) Warriors. They gave me a lot of time and they gave me a really good chance, they invested a lot to get me.
“It was tough because I feel like I owe them something, which hopefully I can pay them back by having a big year this year.”
Earlier in the week, before the announcement, Wigan coach Wane said: “He is a great player and he is one of our lads.
“We would always be interested in great players and he is one of the world’s best.”
Main image courtesy of Super League TV via YouTube, with thanks.