Tomkins swaps code for a day with baa-baas

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The Independent Online

Wigan have given permission for Sam Tomkins to make a temporary switch to rugby union and play for the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

Tomkins, the England full-back, has been invited to line up against the Wallabies and his club have given the ground-breaking initiative their blessing.

"For Sam, Wigan and rugby league to be recognised in this way by the other rugby code is indicative of the talent he has," said the Wigan chairman, Ian Lenagan, yesterday. "It's a great opportunity for Sam to play with and against some of the biggest names in union."

Wigan's magnanimity comes after signing Tomkins to a new five-year contract, but losing his brother, Joel, to Saracens, with whom the Warriors have now formed a new partnership.

The news has also been welcomed by the RFL. "Sam's selection underlines that imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery," said its chief executive, Nigel Wood.

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