Tomkins back where he belongs

Joel Tomkins
Joel Tomkins

JOEL Tomkins already feels back where he belongs despite having only played for 25 minutes since returning to Wigan.

Having the athletic second row forward or centre in the Warriors’ ranks will undoubtedly provide the club with a lift as the play-offs approach and star names such as Blake Green, Michael McIlorum and Iain Thornley near fitness.

But the expectant father is hoping the next major event in his life doesn’t clash with Wigan’s title defence, though he is obviously looking forward to becoming a parent with wife Nicola.

“The baby is due on August 18th, (four days after Wigan’s visit to Hull KR)” explained Tomkins.

“Hopefully it’s between games so I won’t miss training or anything like that. Waney will be on to me and wanting me straight back in,” he laughed.

Although he will be changing nappies and getting up through the night when his child is born, Tomkins is determined to make an immediate impact at Wigan, having made his second debut for the club since returning from a two-and-a-half year stint in rugby union in Wigan’s 45-4 thumping of Salford last Thursday.

And now he has valuable game time under his belt, Tomkins is already looking to improve.

“It’s good to get it out of the way as it’s the most nervous I’ve been before a game,” he explained.

“Now I can work into the next few games.”

Despite having ran-out in front of a full house at Twickenham to face Australia in an England rugby union shirt, Tomkins said his second debut for Wigan affected him more.

“I’d probably say that was more nerve-racking really because of the expectation around me coming back and I suppose people have seen what I’ve done before I Ieft,” he explained.

“The expectation was on my shoulders and it will be there until the end of the year.

“I came on and tried to make an impact straight away. I was blowing after the first five minutes but you burn up so much nervous energy on the touchline, you have to get your second wind as quickly as possible. It was a frantic five minutes but I eased into the game.”

Tomkins also paid tribute to Warriors fans for the welcome he received on the night.

“I was trying to focus on the game but it was difficult to ignore the reception I got and I’m really grateful for that.”