Sam Tomkins expects a big improvement from his former side Wigan Warriors this season

Man of Steel Sam Tomkins expects an improved display from his former side Wigan this season.

The Catalans Dragons fullback, who enjoyed two spells with the Warriors, believes they will bounce back from the disappointment of last year.

With changes around the club, Tomkins sees them being more competitive during this campaign.

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He said: “It’s an exciting time for them. I think last year, the style of rugby they played was pretty disappointing, it wasn’t very Wigan like. They didn’t score many points and basically still finished high up the table because they had young fit lads who played for each other.

Sam Tomkins

“In terms of structure and things they were pretty poor, but they’ve now had a change.

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“Matty Peet has been at the club for a long time and has been promoted from within, Sean O’Loughlin is still there, Lee Briers is one of the smartest halfbacks of the Super League era, and then Waney (Shaun Wane) to overlook it all.

“It seems like they have a good set-up, but only time will tell if it will work.

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With his former Wigan coach now at the helm for the England national team, Tomkins is excited to work with him ahead of the Rugby League World Cup.

“My playing career and Shaun’s coaching career ran parallel for a very long time and I’m good friends with him. He’s the man for the job, and no one will be more frustrated than him by how Covid has impacted the international game,” he added.

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“Only playing one game in two years is a good way to not get sacked, but it’s not ideal for him because I know he would’ve been desperate for us to play. He’s very competitive and very detailed, so this has given him more time to be prepared.

“He’s really passionate about rugby league and being English so he’s the perfect man for the job. It will be very different for people who haven’t worked with him before because he’s a coach who knows which direction he wants to go, and you can’t move away from that.

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“You do what you are told because he’s got a plan to win the big games, with a proven track record. I’m sure he can make it a successful campaign.”

Tomkins believes having such a big event at the end of the season is only a good thing for the sport.

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“Every time it’s a world cup year, it adds to the season. It is certainly a goal for everybody who is eligible. It is a huge thing, and I think it’s exciting because it’s been put off before, so it’s been held at arm’s length.

“It’s important that England are a successful team in the tournament. There’ll be names who you won’t even think of who’ll get a shirt at the end of the year, which is always exciting.

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“It’s a great time to grow a sport because you’ve got all the eyes on it. All the best players are in one place, hopefully the support will spread.”

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