Tomkins hopes for double sporting knock-out!
Win or lose, Sam Tomkins will be burning the midnight oil after the Challenge Cup Final '“ to cheer on one of his favourite sports stars.
UFC champion Conor McGregor will make his professional boxing debut when he takes on Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.
The bout has captured the imagination of fight fans – and divided opinion – as it is the first time a UFC mixed martial artist has taken on such an elite boxer at this level.
Irishman McGregor and American legend Mayweather have marketed the fight superbly with a running battle in the media, trading blows with their acid-tongue quips.
And Tomkins jokes rugby league should adapt the trash-talking to win over new fans.
I think everyone in rugby league should have to do a UFC-type conference before a final,” he smiled.
“I think it’d be better.
“Get the two captains, stand them in the ring and let them slate each other.
“Everyone is too nice, that’s our problem.”
Tomkins was asked if he would like to set the trend – by criticing retiring Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis.
“It would be the right time to say it, wouldn’t it?” he said.
“But Gaz is like Lockers – a horrible, tough player on the field but a true gent off it. Everyone likes him!
“I grew up watching Gaz, he was outstanding – he was like Moz (Adrian Morley) in the way he took the NRL by storm. He will go down as a legend of the game.
“I thoroughly enjoyed playing alongside him for England. When we played against Australia at the DW – I think it was 2009 – I set him up for his first England try, so that’s my claim to fame. He’s a legend of the game, and a legend bloke.”
So that’s Ellis ‘ruined’ then – what is Tomkins expecting from the McGregor-Mayweather super-fight.
“McGregor to win, second round knock-out, all day,” he confidently predicted about the bout, which will be screened in the UK in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“I’ve told Kris Radlinski we need to sort out where we can watch it.
I’m a bit of a UFC fan but I’m more a McGregor fan. He’s cocky, he’s arrogant, he drives Lamborghinis... I can’t wait to watch it.”