Sam Tomkins confident that England will pull-off 'something special' as they prepare for Rugby League World Cup

The former Wigan Warriors full-back, who has announced he has joined NRL side New Zealand Warriors, believes this is the most talented England squad he has been a part of

England are in the best possible shape to make an impact in the World Cup, according to full-back Sam Tomkins.

With the tournament kick-off just 11 days away, national coach Steve McNamara was on Tuesday wrapping up the squad's high-altitude training camp in South Africa and Tomkins hailed it as a tremendous success.

"Everyone is enjoying it," the 2012 Man of Steel said. "Getting a bit of sun on our backs is nice.

"But the training has been intense and I think everyone has got a lot from it.

"The facilities here are world class and I think we're very fortunate. We've everything we need, this is the best preparation we could possibly have."

McNamara will finalise his side's preparations for their opening group game with favourites Australia, who are due to arrive in Manchester on Tuesday morning, with a warm-up game against Italy at Salford on Saturday.

He will cast his eye over all but two members of his 24-strong squad - the suspended Ben Westwood and injured Sean O'Loughlin are the only absentees - and Tomkins says he has never known such competition for places.

"It's definitely the most competitive I've ever seen," he said. "Every position is up for grabs and you can see the intensity picking up as the camp draws to a close.

"This is probably the best England team I've been involved in. We've got bags of potential and, if everyone can perform to their potential, I think we can do something special.

"The preparation over the last few years has been building up to the World Cup, with the England Knights and the ETS (elite training squad), and everything has clicked into place to get us into the best possible shape.

"To win the World Cup would mean absolutely everything to me. I've been lucky enough to win trophies with Wigan but I would certainly swap them to win the World Cup."

Tomkins played alongside older brother Joel for England in the 2010 Four Nations Series and he is hoping to be on the same pitch as younger sibling Logan at Salford on Saturday.

Sam is likely to get some game time against Italy while Logan has been called into the England Knights squad for the friendly with Samoa, which will be played as a curtain raiser.

"I'm over the moon with Logan's selection," said Sam. "He's worked really hard this year and played quite a number of games so to get this call-up for the Knights is huge for him.

"He's still very young and he's only going to get better. For him to hopefully get a taste of it this week will put him in good stead for the future."

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'