Tomkins gives insight into Warriors’ frustrating year

Joel Tomkins (left) with brother Sam during Wigan's defeat to Wakefield last month
Joel Tomkins (left) with brother Sam during Wigan's defeat to Wakefield last month
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Joel Tomkins has offered an interesting insight into Wigan’s rocky campaign, and says a change of playing style could have contributed to their problems.

Warriors won fewer than half their 30 league games in 2017 to miss out on the play-offs for the first time in a decade.

Players watched on in frustration on Saturday as – for the first time since 2012 – they weren’t involved in the Grand Final.

And while Tomkins, 30, concedes their crippling injury-list took its toll, he says adapting their style may have worked against them.

The dual-code England international said: “We tried to change the way we played in the last couple of years. We felt we were coming a bit predictable.

“We put an emphasis in pre-season on trying to change the way we play a little bit, and that may have something to do with it.

“It’s tough to put your finger on it. We’ve had a lot of injuries, it’s just been a disjointed year; if you want to do well in the league you need to string some performances together and we didn’t.”

Meanwhile, the England squad for the World Cup will be revealed at noon today. The players were informed last night whether they had made the cut. Wigan’s Sean O’Loughlin, John Bateman and George Williams are expected to be included.

But arguably the most interesting selection will be whether Sam Tomkins is recalled in wake of Zak Hardaker’s suspension. It was understood Tomkins wasn’t in the frame a week ago, but may have earned a reprieve after Harkdaker’s ban.

It was confirmed on Monday morning the Tigers’ full-back has been provisionally suspended for failing a drugs test.

In a statement, the RFL said: “The Rugby Football League can confirm that Zak Hardaker is provisionally suspended from all competition after it received notification from UK Anti-Doping that he had tested positive for a banned substance,” read a statement from the RFL.

“He will therefore not be considered for the England Rugby League World Cup squad due to be announced on Monday.

“The RFL will be making no further comment until the outcome of the case has been determined.”