McNamara tight-lipped on Sam Tomkins speculation

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins

Catalans coach Steve McNamara would not be drawn on intensifying speculation Sam Tomkins will be moving to the French club next season.

Tomkins played a starring role in Wigan’s fightback in Perpignan, scoring a converted try which put them in the lead for the first time during a dramatic second-half.

Asked whether he expected the full-back to be at the Dragons in 2019, McNamara said: “I’m not going to speak about any player who’s not our player. Sam’s a Wigan player.”

He was, however, happy to speak about another of Wigan’s players - Sean O’Loughlin.

The 35-year-old switched from prop to halfback when they lost George Williams and was outstanding in turning a 21-0 deficit into a 32-23 win.

“Probably, in Sean O’Loughlin, for me he was incredible. Unbelievable,” said McNamara, who made the forward his captain during his time as England coach.

“If it wasn’t for Sean O’Loughlin, I don’t think we’d be having this type of press conference now.”

McNamara felt his players were “outstanding” for 50 minutes and felt the Dragons suffered some harsh penalty decisions, which aided Wigan’s fightback.

“We did some dumb things ourselves, but I’m telling you, it’s as if Catalans shouldn’t be beating Wigan,” he said.

“I don’t think we touched the ball for 15 minutes - some of it for our reasons, some for the penalties given against us. It’s getting very difficult, penalties are so influential in the game.

“It’s every week and it’s killing us.”