Former Wigan Warriors star calls it quits

Former Wigan Warriors and England forward Joel Tomkins admitted 'the time was right' after retiring with immediate effect.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 6:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 6:20 pm
Joel Tomkins

The 34-year-old made 237 appearances for Wigan over two stints with the club, scoring 64 tries.

He earned six caps with England, as well as three in rugby union after switching codes with Saracens.

“It feels like the right time for me," he said. "I’m 34 and rugby league, and a bit of rugby union, has been my life for half of my life.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"It’s been 17 years now in the professional game, and I’m going out on my own terms, which is a big thing for me as well.

"I didn’t want to go one season too long, and I thought it was the right time to make the call at the time I have.

“I’m proud of what I have achieved in rugby league and rugby union and I’m thankful to the clubs I have been a part of.

"All the players, coaches, backroom staff, media staff, catering staff...I’m genuinely thankful to everybody who has been part of my journey as a professional player."

Tomkins didn't have to think long to remember his highlight in the 13-man code.

“In rugby league, there is always one game that stands out as a highlight - and that’s the 2010 Grand Final," he said.

"It was just a magical year for me personally and Wigan as a club.

"It was a transformation that year – Michael Maguire came in with Shaun Wane, and they really complimented each other as coaches at that point.

"We had a group of lads who were willing to die on the pitch to get a win, we had that mentality to win at all costs and that was what we needed as a group.

"It was a perfect storm, I can honestly hand on heart say I enjoyed every minute of that season, and to come out at the end of it with a Grand Final winners ring...for me that’ll always be the highlight of that season.”

Tomkins left Wigan for the second time in 2018, going on to play for Hull KR and Catalans Dragons in 2020.

His last game was the 2021 Super League Grand Final against St Helens.

Get 20% off our sports subscription package and stay up to date with all the latest Wigan Athletic news with a year’s subscription to WiganToday for less than 9p a day. Use promo code TRANSFER20