England in great shape, says Tomkins

Sam Tomkins on England duty
Sam Tomkins on England duty

SAM Tomkins has declared England are as best prepared as they possibly could be for a World Cup assault.

The national team fly back from a warm-weather, high-altitude training camp in South Africa tomorrow.

And the NRL-bound full-back says they will have no excuses if they don’t end the nation’s 41-years of hurt.

He said: “We’re lucky to be able to come here to South Africa. It’s a world class facility. Everything we need is here, and it’s top spec’ – it’s the best possible preparation we could have.

“It’s clicked into place to get us into the best possible shape.”

Tomkins is joined in the side by five other players who helped Wigan to league and Cup trophy success this term.

Sean O’Loughlin, Josh Charnley, Mike McIlorum, Lee Mossop and Liam Farrell have also travelled to South Africa, while coaching members Paul Deacon and Mark Bitcon are on Steve McNamara’s staff. With many of the southern hemisphere nations arriving today, anticipation is expected to be amped up ahead of the opening ceremony at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday, October 26 when England will face Australia.

Before then, the home nation play a warm-up match against Italy at Salford on Saturday (kick-off 4.30pm).

McNamara is expected to name his squad later this week but Warriors skipper O’Loughlin will be rested after returning from a nasty Achilles injury to play in the Grand Final.

“We need Sean to be available not only for the first game against Australia, but for the rest of the tournament as well,” said McNamara, who hailed the 30-year-old’s contribution to the squad as “outstanding”.

England’s match follows a friendly between England’s second-string – the Knights – and Samoa (2pm KO), which could feature a number of Wigan players.

Harrison Hansen is in the Samoan squad, while Dom Crosby, Sam Powell, Scott Taylor and Iain Thornley could be in the opposition ranks.

WIGAN season ticket holders could renew from today.