Another Tomkins set to step up

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ONE player is desperately hoping Wigan will again have two Tomkins’ in the first-team this year!

Joel left the club in a highly-publicised switch to rugby union at the end of last season.

But younger brother Logan has been tipped to make his breakthrough this year and join full-back Sam in the Warriors side.

And he will get a chance to strengthen his first-team claims tomorrow when Shaun Wane starts him at hooker in the friendly against Hull KR.

Tomkins – yet to make his competitive debut – said: “This is my second year in the senior squad so I’m a bit more confident in myself and hopefully I’ll get a chance this year.

“Waney has been pushing everyone during pre-season.

“He expects a lot from the players, he sets high benchmarks and if you don’t reach then, he’ll tell you.”

Wane will field a strong side including all four new recruits – Epalahame Laulaki, Ben Flower, Gil Dudson and Anthony Gelling – tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

But he will rest Sam Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai following their involvement in the Four Nations. George Carmont has also been left out.

And with a clutch of senior players – Sean O’Loughlin, Amos Roberts, Paul Prescott, Stuart Fielden (injury) and Gareth Hock (suspension) – ruled out, it will give some fringe players like Tomkins a chance to impress.

“Friendlies are a nerve-racking time for us because if we play well it might determine who might get a chance when the season starts,” the 19-year-old added. “We’re all keen.”

Paul Deacon’s retirement at the end of last season has increased the likelihood that Tomkins – or a promising halfback such as Joe Mellor or Sam Powell – may be in the frame for the start of Super League on February 5.

“It does open up a possibility, but at the minute I’m just concentrating on training well and trying to do well in the friendlies,” added Tomkins.

“Hopefully I’ll get my chance this season. It’s a shame Joel moved on as now we’ll not all get the chance to be in the same side, but he wanted to move on and who knows? Maybe one day we’ll get that chance.”