LOGAN Tomkins has heaped praise on the player who’s position he is chasing.
Following Joel’s switch to rugby union, the 21-year-old hooker ensured there was still two players named Tomkins in the Warriors side this year after cracking into the senior side.
He debuted against Widnes in March and went on to make a further eight appearances in the first-team.
And he credits Mike McIlorum for helping him adjust to the demands of Super League – admitting his willingness to help caught him a little by surprise.
Tomkins said: “Micky has been friends with Joel for years, so I’ve known him for quite a while and he always used to help me out with a word here or there.
“Before I came into the first team, I didn’t know what it would be like with the competition, but it honestly isn’t like that.
“It doesn’t feel like you’re competing for someone’s spot – Micky’s been nothing but brilliant with me.
“He’s always getting me after training and working on things with me.
“He’s got a really aggressive streak and players don’t like running at him because he hits them so hard. I watch his clips all the time on the computer.
“You don’t think, ‘he’s got my spot’.
“If I played over Micky he’d be happy for me, we’re close knit, you help each other – we’re all really good mates and we all want the same thing which is the team to do well.”
The academy-product possibly would have tasted more first-team action had Wigan not brought in Matty Smith – who played a few games at dummy-half – from Salford in the summer.
With Smith now installed as the first-choice No.7, Tomkins is hoping he can nail down a regular bench spot in 2013.
Most teams now carry an alternate hooker on their four-man bench, but McIlorum’s willingness to play for 80 minutes means there are no guarantees for Tomkins.
“Last season went well for me, I just wanted to be involved and be seen as a first-team player,” he said.
“At first I started getting in as 18th man and then on the bench and it got that bit more real.
“Even the Saints game (on Good Friday), I was only on for the last two minutes but it was at their new place and we beat them and it was good.
“I’ve got higher standards for next year, so I’ve trained really hard this off-season.
“I’d like to cement a bench spot, just to be involved and to be thought of as possibly playing – that’s all I need.
“It’s not easy because Micky will play for 80 minutes, no problem. If he broke his leg he’d still want to carry on!”