SAM Tomkins has challenged his team-mates to grasp their silverware chance with both hands – and treat it as if it’s the only shot they’re ever going to get to be crowned World Club champions.
A capacity 25,000 crowd is expected at the DW Stadium this Sunday evening (7.15 pm) and crowd-pleaser Tomkins is desperate to add another piece of silverware to last year’s Grand Final triumph.
The 21-year-old has never even seen his club play in a WCC before, and he said: “I was only four the last time Wigan were involved in a World Club (against Brisbane, ’94).
“To think of all the great players who have been and gone since then, legends like Kris Radlinski, who never even got a chance of playing in one, it makes you realise what a wonderful opportunity we’ve got and we’re not going to go into it thinking, ‘There’ll be other chances’.
“Even just being in the game is a massive honour – I think it’s going to be a special night.
“It’s going to be a special week for everyone in the town, never mind those of us lucky enough to be playing.”
Tomkins says the Wigan players will study footage of the Dragons players this week and will be well-prepared for Sunday’s encounter.
“I don’t watch too much of the NRL so I don’t know much about them, but I’m sure Madge will show us a lot of video this week,” he said. “I’ve played against some of them in the Four Nations. I know Darius Boyd is a very good player.”
By his own admission, Tomkins failed to reproduce his best form on the international stage last autumn, as England crashed out of the Four Nations with one-sided defeats against Australia and New Zealand.
“Personally I was really disappointed, because I went into the tournament on the back of a good season and I wanted to perform well on the big stage,” added Super League’s young player of the year.
“I know this isn’t a Test match but it’s a massive game between the two champions, there’ll be a lot of people watching this game, and I want to show what I can do.”