SAM Tomkins’ departure from the New Zealand Warriors has been confirmed, paving the way for a return to Wigan.
The NRL outfit has this morning (Wednesday) confirmed that the 26-year-old will be released from his contract at the end of the season – a year early – after they signed full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Tomkins’ destination hasn’t been confirmed but his hometown club has the first refusal on his signature.
The former Wigan star’s time has been cut short due to homesickness though with him admitting he has “missed home in ways I never thought I would.”
Confirming his departure, New Zealand Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said: “He came here excited about testing himself in the NRL and also experiencing living in a new country but, in the end, Sam has found it too much of a challenge being away from home.
“While we have talked with him and tried to work through it he has now come back to us to ask for a release at the end of the season.
I can only be honest and say I miss home in ways I never thought I wouldSam Tomkins
“It’s disappointing that it has come to this but reluctantly we have accepted there is no option but to allow Sam to return to England.
“For now, though, he is determined to finish his time with the Vodafone Warriors in the best way he can. He’s working to recover from his knee injury as soon as possible so he can regain his spot in the team.”
Talking about the decision, Tomkins said: “I never imagined it would reach this point.
“This is a great club and I can’t say enough about the coaching staff. I love being with the lads and it’s a brilliant country to live in but I can only be honest and say I miss home in ways I never thought I would.
“I’m truly grateful to the Vodafone Warriors for agreeing to give me an early release and I am so determined to repay them for their consideration. All I want now is to get back out on the field to help us have a great season.”
Head coach Andrew McFadden added: “This has been hanging over Sam at different times and there’s no doubt it has affected him.
“Now the way has been cleared and I’m sure he’ll excel once again when he comes back from this injury.
“We’ve seen the quality he provides when he’s in the side. He makes a huge difference to the way we play and I know how determined he’ll be to contribute over the rest of the season.”
It looks increasingly likely that Tomkins will return to Wigan, the club he left after the remarkable double-winning success of 2013.
However, there will be a number of other sides – in both league and union – interested in securing his signature.