Tomkins hails ‘secret weapon’

Joel Tomkins is back in training
Joel Tomkins is back in training

JOEL Tomkins says Wigan have a ‘secret weapon’ in their arsenal with assistant coach John Winder.

The Cumbrian stepped up to become Shaun Wane’s No.2 when Paul Deacon left midway through last season.

Winder has a lower profile than many senior coaches because he didn’t play at the top level.

But after a week of pre-season training, Tomkins has hailed the impact he is making.

The 28-year-old said: “John’s taken on a lot more, and he’s absolutely fantastic. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. His knowledge of the game is second to none.

“When people say someone is ‘a student of the game’, he really is. It’s probably a positive he’s never played to a high level because he comes at a different angle, and he really complements Waney.”

Wane has so far decided against adding any new members to his coaching staff, and – since Deaco moved to Sale RU – has asked senior players to pick up some slack.

“Waney got us to take a bit of the reviews, and there’ll be more of that this year,” added Tomkins. “All the senior boys enjoy it.”