By Mark Shales
The unlikely rumours linking Wigan Warriors’ Man of Steel Sam Tomkins with a move to Salford City Reds were finally dismissed by head coach Shaun Wane.
The 23-year-old England fullback was the latest big name signing – after Warrington’s Adrian Morley and Castleford’s Rangi Chase – to be linked with the Reds following their recent takeover.
But Wigan-born Wane admits there never any doubt about the future of his lucrative star.
“It was never going to happen,” he told BBC Radio Manchester.
“I’m really pleased Salford have got an owner who’s willing to put his hands in his pocket and make a genuine bid for one of the best players in the competition, but Sam is our player.
“I want to do things this year and I’ll do them a lot better with Sam in our team.”
Earlier this month Salford-born Wolves captain Morley was targeted by new owner Dr Marwan Khoukash, before the Kuwaiti businessman was forced to abandon the pursuit.
Last week Castleford rejected the Reds’ bid for their star halfback Chase, with the former Man of Steel pledging his allegiance to the Tigers.
On Monday Tomkins fuelled the speculation himself tweeting a message from team mate Chris Tuson.
Tomkins fuelled the speculation himself tweeting a message from team mate Chris Tuson.
He wrote: “@ChrisTuson: ‘Good luck to @samtomkins1 on his new move, hope it all goes well’ Cheers mate.”
The one-time Barbarians full-back, contracted at the DW stadium until 2016, is widely rumoured to pursue a career in rugby union – possibly following his brother Joel to Saracens.
However a clause in his contract prohibits him from speaking to union or Australian NRL clubs until the end of the next season.
Salford will be hoping to back-up Sunday’s victory over Hul KR with success against winless London Broncos on Friday, while Wigan travel across the Pennines to Castleford.
Image courtesy of SuperLeague TV, via YouTube, with thanks