Of all the things Sam Tomkins has achieved in his career – from the Man of Steel, to the NRL, to even playing for the Barbarians at Twickenham – the chance to coach Adrian Morley must rank as the most unlikely!
But that’s the prospect facing the Wigan full-back when he takes charge of a Lancashire legends side in a match against Yorkshire later this month.
Tomkins will oversee his first session as guest coach of the star-studded line-up in Orrell tonight.
“I was lucky enough to play with and against Moz – to coach him is something I never thought I’d do!” smiled the 28-year-old.
“It’s a bit random, there are some great players in this Lancashire team, so I’m not sure what I can say.
“I think they’ll be telling me what’s happening, and I’ll be agreeing with it – there are too many legends in there for me to be boss!
“I’ll just try and be peace-keeper and keep everyone happy.”
Lancashire have enlisted ex-Wigan players Martin Gleeson, Sean Long, Gary Connolly, Denis Betts, Mick Cassidy, Barrie McDermott, Stephen Wild and Jon Clarke for the War of the Roses.
Former Test captain Morley will captain a side which also boasts Paul Wellens, Iestyn Harris, Sean Long and Tommy Martyn.
The game, on Wednesday August 30 (KO 7pm) at Leeds’ Headingley, is part of the testimonials for Gleeson and Leeds winger Ryan Hall, who will coach a White Rose side featuring Keith Senior, Kylie Leuluai, Robbie Hunter-Paul and captained by Jamie Peacock.
“Gleese called and asked will I be involved, and straight-away I said, ‘Yes’,” said Tomkins.
“If you look at the calibre of former players who have put their hands up, it speaks volumes of how well-liked and well-respected Gleese and Ryan Hall are. I’ve been lucky to play with both of them.
“In 2010, Gleese played a massive part in helping Wigan win their first trophy in a very-long time. He’s very intelligent about the game, he’s obsessive about it, and that’s why I think he’s done so well coaching at Salford.
“I just wish I could play in the game, alongside so many players I grew up watching.”
Tickets for the game are £10 adults, £5 concessions and £3 juniors. Hospitality is also available via the Leeds Rhinos website or by calling 0371 4231315.
Hall is enjoying a benefit year after a decade with Leeds. Former GB centre Gleeson has been awarded a three-month testimonial to mark his services to the game.