Tomkins to profit from an overdue pre-season

Joel Tomkins
Joel Tomkins

WIGAN will reap the rewards from Joel Tomkins’ absence from the Test stage, according to Shaun Wane.

The Warriors forward made himself unavailable for the three-Test series against New Zealand.

I know what a fully-fit Joel Tomkins is capable of and after a full pre-season, he’ll be better for it

Shaun Wane

He needed minor surgery on a knee injury, preventing him joining his five Wigan team-mates who earned places in the national side.

Tomkins played for England in last year’s Four Nations just months after his return to league, following a high-profile code switch.

And Wane reckons the break from international duty, and the chance to have a full pre-season, will help him rediscover his best form in 2016.

“Joel needed a minor operation, and he’s not had a pre-season in forever,” said Wane.

“Now he’s had a chance to have a real break and come back firing.”

Tomkins’ last full pre-season with Wigan started in autumn 2009. The following year, he played in the Four Nations and then he switched codes in 2011 - before returning to Wigan last summer.

Steve McNamara included him in his squad which toured Down Under – after just seven games back in league – which impacted on his preparations for last season.

“He has played through the pain barrier for us and played well,” said Wane.

“But I know what a fully-fit Joel Tomkins is capable of and after a full pre-season, he’ll be better for it.”