Tomkins: England need a perfect 10

Sam Tomkins in training with Wigan
Sam Tomkins in training with Wigan
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Sam Tomkins is confident England can deliver a “10 out of 10” performance to topple Australia in Saturday’s World Cup final.

The Wigan full-back will be cheering on Wayne Bennett’s side from 10,000 miles away.

Jermaine McGillvary has impressed Down Under. Picture: NRL Photos

Jermaine McGillvary has impressed Down Under. Picture: NRL Photos

And he believes they can rise to the occasion – and make rugby league history.

“If there’s a World Cup for us to win, this is it,” said Tomkins, who earned the last his 23 caps in 2014.

“The path to the final has been pretty kind – if someone had offered us beforehand the chance of getting to the final without playing the Aussies or New Zealand in the knock-out stages, we’d have grabbed it.

“It’s a tough task, and Australia have proved again they are the benchmark.

“But this is a one-off game, and there’s no reason why we can’t win. There’d be nothing better.”

Asked whether a nine out of 10 performance would be enough to topple Australia for the first time in 11 years, Tomkins said: “No, it can’t be a nine.

“It needs to be a 10 out of 10 to be in with a chance.

“They are a better side than us. But it’s a one-off game and favourites don’t always win.

“We’ve seen that in this competition – look at Tonga beating New Zealand.”

Tomkins was overlooked by Bennett for this tournament, limiting his role in this competition to being a supporter.

“I’m proud to be English and whether I’m playing or not, I’d love it to happen,” said the 28-year-old, who will be part of the BBC team covering the big game (kick-off 9am UK time).

“When you’re not playing, you become a fan – it was the same when I wasn’t at Wigan, I was still a fan, and now I’m not in the England side I’m an England fan. I can’t wait for it.”

While the build-up has been criticised in some quarters for being low-key, Tomkins believes a World Cup triumph – England’s first since 1972 – could propel Super League’s profile to another level.

“I think it would give us a massive boost,” he said.

“Our players are going over there and doing well. They’re all singing the praises of (Huddersfield winger) Jermaine McGillvary and that’s what we want – people to see what talent we have in Super League.”

Tomkins and his Wigan team-mates have been given a few days off to recharge the batteries.

They worked until 4am on Tuesday morning on a community blitz – a range of projects across the borough.

“It was good,” he added. “We go into the community regularly, but not on the same scale, with everyone getting involved at once.”