Sam Tomkins & co deserve great reception from Wigan Warriors fans, says Oliver Gildart

Sam Tomkins is returning to face his hometown club this evening
Sam Tomkins is returning to face his hometown club this evening

Oliver Gildart hopes the ex-Warriors trio receive a warm reception at the DW Stadium tonight.

Sam Tomkins, Micky McIlorum and Lewis Tierney are set to be in the Catalans line-up.

Full-back Tomkins has already returned to the DW as a Dragons player, during the 42-0 loss in which he was greeted with some pantomime boos.

“I hope it was pantomime – the amount of things he has done for this club,” said Gildart.

“Sam is one of the best I’ve watched and played alongside, and someone I learned a lot off.”

Coach Adrian Lam recalls coaching McIlorum when he was in charge of the academy side in 2005.

“He was the same kind of player then,” said Lam. “Always tough, he’d get off the line quickly and upset the momentum with line speed.

“He played against us at the Nou Camp and I thought he made a big difference.”

Winger Tierney also won a World Club Challenge with his hometown club in 2017, and defence coach Matty Peet says all three are regarded highly.

“We hold them in high esteem,” said Peet, the club’s former head of youth.

“They are seen as role models for our players and what they achieved at the club.

“There is a strong, healthy respect for what they achieved here. When we speak to a young full-back you mention Sam, and what he was capable of and how competitive he was.

“Defensively Micky was one of the best I’ve seen and he has the ability to change a game with his line speed – we expect them to bring their best.

“They are three players who know exactly what we’re about.”