SAM Tomkins can’t wait to get back into action when the NRL Nines kick off, despite barely having a rest since his season finished.
The former Wigan Warriors ace, now with the club’s namesakes in New Zealand, acted as England’s last line of defence in the Four Nations Down Under before jetting back to Wigan for a brief visit.
And Tomkins has barely landed back in New Zealand after a trip to LA but will hit the straps straight away to minimise the effects of an off-season American diet.
“Pre-season is long enough to get back in shape so you don’t lose too much fitness,” he told the Evening Post ahead of the Nines which kick off on January 31 at New Zealand’s Eden Park.
“There are quite a few of us coming back from internationals and me and Shaun (Johnson – Rugby League Golden Boot winner) are the only two internationals who will play in the Nines.”
The Auckland Nines featured on the NRL calendar for the first time last season, with Tomkins’ Warriors going out at the semi-final stage to eventual champions North Queensland Cowboys.
And Tomkins thought the event was the perfect way to start his time in the NRL.
“It was brilliant and I think the concept is great,” he said.
“We have 50,000 people watching every NRL team on one field.
“The setting for it, Eden Park, is a quality atmosphere you get there. I’ve been watching the All Blacks there this year and when it’s full it’s electric. I think last year no one was quite sure what it would be like but the momentum it gained just from those two days means this year it will be even bigger and better.”
Despite the excitement of his second season Down Under being upon him, Tomkins will be keeping an eye on developments at home as brothers Joel and Logan fight for Wigan’s cause in 2015.
And the twice Challenge Cup and Super League title winner is confident Wigan will again be a force in 215.
He said: “I’ve been involved at Wigan a long time and each year you say ‘this will be the year they will struggle’ but it never happens.”