Logan Tomkins will finally get the chance to play at Old Trafford this Saturday – after being pulled from Wigan’s Grand Final line-up with less than an hour to go!
The Salford hooker was a member of the Warriors side which lifted the Challenge Cup in 2013 and, weeks later, was in the team for the title-decider.
But captain Sean O’Loughlin – who hadn’t played since Wembley because of injury – completed the warm-up and received the green light to play...at Tomkins’ expense.
“It was at the end of warm-up, just before kick-off,” recalls the brother of ex-Warriors Joel and Sam.
“He was struggling with some injuries but he’s such a good player and if he’s 50-50 you want him to play, it’s worth the risk because of what he can contribute.
“I was only young – I was slightly relieved! It’s a lot of pressure for a 21-year-old, so I was happy to sit out for O’Loughlin.
“I didn’t mind, he’s one of the best in the world so I can’t complain.”
Tomkins still received a winner’s ring from that Grand Final victory in 2013, which is stored at his mum’s house, and though he didn’t feature at Old Trafford he says he still felt a part of that title-winning squad.
Even so, victory on Saturday would arguably mean more for a player who was competing for Salford in the Million Pound Game relegation shoot-out just two years ago.
Ian Watson’s outfit stunned many observers by finishing third and secured their first Grand Final spot with Friday’s comprehensive 28-4 victory over the Warriors last Friday night.
“I’d have this over the Million Pound Game any day,” said Tomkins.
“This is unbelievable, we knew we were capable of something good and this was our goal to get to a final.
“It’s a fairtytale but we’re not happy just to get there, because we want to win. It might be a thing of, ‘Remember when Salford got to a Grand Final’, but we want people to be saying, ‘Remember when Salford won it’.”
Tomkins is one of several who will be playing his final game for Salford on Saturday (kick-off 6pm). He has yet to sign a contract for 2020 and there have been rumours of a reunion with brothers Joel – who left Hull KR – and Sam at Catalans.
Asked whether he had secured his future, he replied: “Not 100 per cent, there are a few things lined up but I’ll get this out the way and then there’s plenty of time to sort that out.”