LOGAN Tomkins is watching his place in the Warriors team like a hawk as a huge week in the season begins.
The youngest of the three Tomkins brothers, Logan has come into the first team on a more regular basis this season, sharing the hooking role with Michael McIlorum.
Ahead of Wigan’s visit to Langtree Park tonight, the 21-year-old can’t wait to get stuck in.
“Being a Wigan lad, coming through the ranks and watching my brothers play in these sorts of games – it’s always been a dream to be involved in it and now I’m in contention to play it’s an exciting time,” he said.
And with older brother and Man of Steel Sam missing from the action with knee trouble, Logan told the Evening Post how frustrated Sam is at missing games. “Sam is intense about rugby – he is always thinking rugby,” he said.
“Every game is massive for him but you can tell derby games get to him. He’s thinking about the game more than he usually does and he will want to put a performance in when he plays against Saints.”
Following the derby is Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final against London Broncos at Leigh Sports Village.
Sam and Joel became the first brothers since the Iros to play for Wigan together at Wembley in the 28-18 victory against Leeds Rhinos in 2011.
But now Logan is desperate to become part of the next family duo to lift a Challenge Cup – although he admits he would have loved for Joel to have the opportunity to help them become the first band of three brothers to play in the same Wigan team in a cup final.
“Sam and Joel have done it at Wembley and I was watching in the stand, so this time I hope to run out with Sam and Joel will be watching in the stand,” he said.
“It would be a good day for the family.
Logan added: “Joel will be happy for us if we make it but there is a massive part of him that misses Wigan.
“He’s always saying it when he rings us. He’s more interested about what we are doing than telling us about his new experiences down there.
“He misses rugby league and he misses all the Wigan lads but he will be happy for us. He will be itching to get in and play!”
But Wigan are not there yet and before the semi-final against the Broncos, Saints are ready to offer a punishing physical test.
“We just take every week as it come, we don’t think too far ahead,” said Tomkins.
“The matches are both as big as each other because every Saints match is like a Grand Final because of the occasion.
“If we beat London we are in the final, though, but we take every week as it comes. All our attention is going on what we need to do to beat St Helens and then after that all our concentration will go on London.”
Brother Sam is also just as keen to see Warriors make it past London and for the pair to run out at Wembley together.
“It would be unbelievable – I was lucky enough to win the Challenge Cup with one brother and Logan needs to do the same now so there’s a bit of pressure on him,” he said.
“I’m proud of what Logan does and the player he is turning into. He is in that phase now where he is not a reserve player anymore and he is Super League standard.”
Reflecting on whether Logan would always follow in the footsteps of Sam and Joel, the Wigan fullback said: “He had to! Logan is a competitor, he wants to win everything. He’s a little bit of a weirdo which you need. He is strong and hungry.”
Tomkins is also spreading his wings away from the rugby field with his new passion.
While most people might opt for a pet dog, Tomkins – not doing anything by halves – is set to become the owner of a Harris Hawk!
“I’ve got into shooting over the last 18 months or so. Ben Flower is into it and I have got a few other lads like Sam Powell into it,” he said.
“As I got into shooting and hunting I got more into other fields.
“I’ve been out over the season with my mate and his Harris Hawk and I’m getting mine in August.”
But this is no fad for Tomkins who has taken a year to learn the trade before taking the plunge and becoming a hawk owner.
“The bad thing about it is you don’t have to have any sort of licence to own a bird of prey. There are rules for bigger birds like eagles but for standard hawks there are no rules so you get a lot of people mistreating them,” he said.
“They end up either killing the bird or losing it, so I’ve taken 12 months to learn before I’ve even thought about getting my own bird.”
Resources for owning a bird of prey are not quite as readily available as puppy training guides but Tomkins has been able to find advice and knowledge in abundance thanks to help from friends.
Tomkins continued: “You can pay to go on days but you don’t know people do it until you ask about it.
“I started asking different people and found it’s quite a friendly community. When they realise you genuinely want to do it and it’s not just a phase you are going through people welcome you in and show you the ropes.
Tomkins has resisted the desire to leap straight into hawk ownership, instead biding his time to ensure he was ready for the responsibility.
“At first I really thought I want one as soon as possible but I decided to take my time because you owe it to the bird really. It isn’t fair if you bring it to harm.
“You can fly them for fun, they will follow you, fly away and you call them back or you can hunt with them.
“They will take anything like rabbits, pheasants and hares.”