Confirmed: Sam Tomkins returns to Wigan Warriors on four-year deal

Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves Super League Grand Final Old Trafford October 5, 2013''Shaun Wane and Sam Tomkins with the trophy
Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves Super League Grand Final Old Trafford October 5, 2013''Shaun Wane and Sam Tomkins with the trophy

SAM Tomkins described his decision to return to Wigan as “a no-brainer” after signing a four-year deal from next season.

His widely-expected return to the Warriors was confirmed on the big-screen at half-time of the game against Warrington - much to the delight of the bumper crowd.

Wigan have paid a transfer fee of more than £200,000 to compensate New Zealand Warriors for the final season of his contract.

He said: “I am really happy to have this sorted and to be returning home to Wigan. All of my friends and family live in Wigan, a lot of them play for Wigan. It really was a no-brainer for me when I sat down and thought about things.

“It’s been a fantastic experience to test myself in the NRL but the reality is I am 13,000 miles away from my friends and family.

“When I left Wigan I always knew in my heart that I would return to play for the club one day and I am very excited at the thought of returning to the DW Stadium and pulling on that famous jersey once again.”

Tomkins scored 144 tries in 152 games for the club, winning two Grand Finals and two Challenge Cups, before signing for the NZ Warriors in a world-record transfer.

He was under contract for 2016 but decided to cut short his time to return home. He initially said he was open to offers, but Wigan were always in pole position to land his signature, and Tomkins let slip he would be pulling on the Cherry and White jersey again during a radio interview last weekend.

He follows older brother Joel and prop Lee Mossop in returning to Wigan following stints in rugby union and the NRL respectively.

Chairman Ian Lenagan said: “With that, I am delighted to announce the return to Wigan of Sam Tomkins for 2016 onwards.

“Sam is undoubtedly one of the finest players in world rugby and we acted swiftly when it became apparent that he wanted to return to the UK.

“This is another tremendous signing for the Wigan club and only serves to justify our policy of allowing players to experience other competitions whilst always keeping the option available for them to return to the club in the future.

“We have a strategy at Wigan of developing home-grown players and allowing players who want the extra challenge to go to the NRL or rugby union and return to Wigan as better players.

“A transfer fee in excess of £200,000 has been paid to allow Sam to be released from the final year of his contract with the Vodafone Warriors. We wish Sam and the Warriors all the best for the remainder of the 2015 season and look forward to him joining us next season.”

Coach Shaun Wane thanked said Lenagan and rugby director Kris Radlinski had worked “tirelessly” to pull off the signing.

“Once I heard that Sam was looking to come back to England next year I knew we had to pull out all the stops to have him here,” said Wane.

“He is one of our own and a truly world class player. Sam knows what we are all about here at Wigan. He understands our culture and our systems and will slot perfectly back into my squad.”

Tomkins, who will be replaced at NZ Warriors by Sydney Roosters No.1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, said his focus now remains on finishing his last NRL campaign on a high.

“I have really enjoyed my time in New Zealand and can’t thank everyone enough here as they have all done so much to make me feel welcome here since my arrival last year,” he said.

“My sole focus for the remainder of 2015 is to help the Warriors make the play-offs as we look to mount a serious challenge for the NRL Premiership.”