Picture perfect for Tomkins
This is the picture which is driving Sam Tomkins as Wigan prepare to play at Wembley.
The England full-back scored an impressive solo try to put the crowning glory on their 16-0 victory against Hull FC four years ago – the club’s last Challenge Cup Final success.
It was a “special” moment which has stayed with him and, as they prepare to face the same opposition tomorrow, he is hoping to create another memory to treasure tomorrow.
“When you score at Wembley, and you have 12 blokes piling on top of you – it was a special feeling last time,” he said.
“There’s a picture of it up in the gym at Orrell and it means a great deal to me.”
Wigan are aiming for a record-extending 20th Challenge Cup Final victory.
And Tomkins admits the chance to write another chapter into the club’s glorious history has hit home.
“It is special, this competition, because you see the montages of past games, it’s black and white and they’re lifting the same trophy,” the 28-year-old said.
“There are pictures of legends playing in these games, clips of blokes scoring tries and team-mates piling on – and it’s not just from the last 10 years, it’s much longer than that.
“I think for Wigan fans, the Challenge Cup was their trophy for a long time, and some people think you can decide whether you want to play in it or not.
“You can’t – it’s tough to get here. And now we are here, it’s even harder winning it.
“Hull are a very good side, they have strike across the field, they can play it tough and they can play it flashy. They’re a lot better than in 2013.”
Tomkins, also a winner in 2011, has been happy with his own form since he recovered from a broken foot – Wigan have lost just twice since he returned to the side.
He says reaching Wembley is a ‘thank you’ to his family for their support – and to his parents for the time and miles they sacrificed when he was a junior.
“My mum and dad pretty much gave up their social lives for 15 years to take us to training and games, especially with three of us playing,” said the dad-of-two.
“Days like Saturday is a chance to repay them.
“You need to enjoy it because you don’t know when it will happen again. It’s a tough sport we play, there are a hundred reasons why you might not play in another – injury, a move away – so you need to embrace it.”