Joel Tomkins' departure from Wigan Warriors confirmed

Joel Tomkins
Joel Tomkins

Joel Tomkins' expected departure from Wigan Warriors has been confirmed today by the club.

Tomkins has joined Super League rivals Hull KR on an 18-month deal, and his departure from Wigan comes a week after being suspended by the club and fined for the video nasty which went viral.

Executive Director Kris Radlinski said: “Everybody is aware of the incident that took place a few weeks ago. Since Joel’s suspension, conversations have taken place surrounding his long-term future at the club. Joel made a very remorseful statement and the discussions that have taken place since echo that.

“The images on that video will haunt Joel for a long time but we can’t let that moment of madness detract from what a fantastic career he has had at the club. I want people to remember his amazing Challenge Cup Final try in 2011 in the same way we still remember Martin Offiah’s 1994 try against Leeds.

“Everyone has commented on the video but the hardest thing for me is that the video is not a true reflection of the man I know. After the video had emerged, he sent me a message apologising for the position that he put me in and said that whatever I decided, our friendship would remain intact.

“Joel is a good guy and somebody I care about. This has been a really difficult situation for all people concerned. Now it is time to move on. We thank Joel and wish him well with his future endeavours.”

Tomkins, who started with his new club this morning and is available to face Castleford on Sunday, said: "I’m sure everybody is aware of what’s gone on at Wigan and I accepted the punishment from them. After sitting down with my family and thinking a bit harder about it, I decided that the best thing for all parties would be for me to leave the club and I offered my resignation to Kris Radlinski, which he accepted.

“I instructed my agent to look into a deal elsewhere and there were a few other Super League clubs that were interested as well as Rovers, but Tim called me personally and really sold the club to me, both for the back end of this year and next season. After a 10-minute conversation with him, my mind was made up.

“I’m really grateful to Tim and everybody else involved at Hull KR for giving me the opportunity to move on from this. It has been embarrassing for me, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s a sad situation for me to leave Wigan in this way, but it’s also an opportunity for me to move to a club that’s on the rise and that has some big plans moving forward. I’m genuinely excited to be a part of that.

“It is a completely different challenge to what I’ve had in recent times in my career but I’m ready for that and I think it’s really going to invigorate me as a player and a person.

“I’m looking forward to getting in and meeting the boys. I’ll probably look to travel across to Hull for the time being and then make a decision in the off season about making a move over that way if I need to.

“From my experiences of playing at Hull KR for Wigan in the past, I know they’ve got passionate fans who create a good atmosphere and I’m looking forward to being part of that on the home team.

“I’m fit and healthy at the moment but I’m coming in with an open mind. I’m not expecting to just walk into the side, I’m going to have to really work hard and force my way into the team. I need to earn the respect of the players and the fans.”