NEW Zealand Warriors have attempted to play down the speculation linking Sam Tomkins with a return to Super League next season.
Coach Andrew McFadden said the full-back was “very happy”.
He’s got a bit of time off, but he’s very happy here and I was only speaking to him yesterday and having a bit of a laugh about itAndrew McFadden - NZ Warriors coach
And he said: “There is no way he’ll be leaving this year.”
Other sections of the media have taken his remarks he’s committed to seeing out his current NRL deal, which runs out at the end of 2016.
But there had been no suggestions he would leave this season - with all speculation about where the No.1 may play next year.
Tomkins, out for at least five weeks with a knee injury, has not spoken to media about the link.
If he did want to return to England next season there would be no shortage of interest in the 26-year-old.
Shaun Wane has admitted he would love him back on board, while other rich Super League clubs - and rugby union outfits - would surely be keen to recruit one of the country’s most marketable stars.
Warriors chief executive Jim Doyle told the New Zealand Herald that Tomkins was frustrated to be out injured. But he stopped short of denying he may leave at the end of this season.
McFadden told Stuff.co.nz: “Sam has got an injury at the moment which is very frustrating for him because he doesn’t get injured very often.
“He’s got a bit of time off, but he’s very happy here and I was only speaking to him yesterday and having a bit of a laugh about it.”
Warriors are chasing Kiwi full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for next season.