WIGAN will reap the rewards from Joel Tomkins’ absence from the Test stage, according to Shaun Wane.
The Warriors forward made himself unavailable for the three-Test series against New Zealand.
I know what a fully-fit Joel Tomkins is capable of and after a full pre-season, he’ll be better for itShaun Wane
He needed minor surgery on a knee injury, preventing him joining his five Wigan team-mates who earned places in the national side.
Tomkins played for England in last year’s Four Nations just months after his return to league, following a high-profile code switch.
And Wane reckons the break from international duty, and the chance to have a full pre-season, will help him rediscover his best form in 2016.
“Joel needed a minor operation, and he’s not had a pre-season in forever,” said Wane.
“Now he’s had a chance to have a real break and come back firing.”
Tomkins’ last full pre-season with Wigan started in autumn 2009. The following year, he played in the Four Nations and then he switched codes in 2011 - before returning to Wigan last summer.
Steve McNamara included him in his squad which toured Down Under – after just seven games back in league – which impacted on his preparations for last season.
“He has played through the pain barrier for us and played well,” said Wane.
“But I know what a fully-fit Joel Tomkins is capable of and after a full pre-season, he’ll be better for it.”