Sam Tomkins wants Sean O’Loughlin to lift Super League trophy for Wigan
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Tuesday 01 October 2013
Sam Tomkins hopes to be relieved of the Wigan captaincy for his last game for the club – Saturday’s Super League Grand Final against Warrington at Old Trafford.
Tomkins who departs for the New Zealand Warriors next season, has been deputising with the armband for the regular Wigan captain, Sean O’Loughlin. Even though Tomkins admits it would be a thrill to lift the trophy on his farewell appearance, he would give that up to have O’Loughlin on the field.
“I’d love him to play,” said Tomkins. “He’s Wigan’s best player; any of the lads would tell you that. So, while it would be quite something to captain Wigan in a Grand Final in my last match, I’d much rather have him on the field.”
Loose-forward O’Loughlin has missed the play-off series with an Achilles injury. He had another scan last night, and his coach, Shaun Wane, has described his chances of playing on Saturday as 50-50. Tomkins expects him to be granted as much time as possible to prove his fitness. “I think he’ll be given until the day of the final, because of him being the player he is,” he said. O’Loughlin is Wigan’s only injury doubt for what Tomkins called “the Grand Final everyone wanted.”
Warrington have a question mark over the former Australia Test forward Trent Waterhouse. He was left out of the last game against Huddersfield as a precaution with a knee injury and Simon Grix, who filled his usual position in the second-row, was outstanding.
“Simon Grix won’t be getting dropped, that’s something for certain,” said the Wolves coach, Tony Smith. “I would have to find somewhere else to play him.”
Tomkins has been pleasantly surprised by the response in the week since he confirmed he is leaving for the NRL. “The reaction has been a lot more positive than I thought, to be honest,” he said. “Even from fans of other clubs. Apparently, some of them don’t like me very much, but now I’m going to the NRL they have been wishing me all the best.”
Tomkins revealed that one of the first people he consulted when he got an offer from New Zealand was the Warrington captain, Adrian Morley, who had six successful seasons in the NRL with the Sydney Roosters.
“He gave me some good advice, from someone who had done so well over there,” he said. Morley, who is joining Salford, is playing his last game for Warrington, along with Garreth Carvell, Mike Cooper and Brett Hodgson on Saturday.
Tomkins has missed out on the leading individual award of the year, runner-up to Huddersfield’s Danny Brough as Man of Steel. Jamie Peacock of Leeds was the other runner-up. Ben Crooks of Hull was voted Young Player of the Year, while Huddersfield’s Paul Anderson took the coaching award.
Raheem Sterling to Manchester City: Winger to report for Liverpool training on Monday but Reds braced for third City bid this week
Women's World Cup 2015: England secure third place as they beat Germany in extra time with penalty by Fara Williams
Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo could miss Manchester United's crucial Champions League play-off due to Copa America run
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Nick Kyrgios fans show their support by smearing Vegemite and Nutella on their faces amid Wimbledon run
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget