A ‘real buzz’ around Catalans camp ahead of cup clash says Sam Tomkins

Sam Tomkins Alex Walmsley St Helens PA
Alex Walmsley in action for St Helens

Catalans full-back Sam Tomkins says there is a real buzz around the Dragons camp ahead of their Challenge Cup quarter-final clash.

Steve McNamara’s side host current cup holders St Helens in Perpignan on Saturday, live on the BBC.

The winner of tie will be 80 minutes away from running out at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May.

The clash of the round, which is a repeat of the 2021 Grand Final won by Saints, will be shown live on national television in both countries and Tomkins says that presents a glorious opportunity to further raise the profile of rugby league.

Sam Tomkins: ‘It’s going to be a great occasion’

“It doesn’t change how we play but it’s a great opportunity to get more eyes on our sport,” he said.

“We’ve had it this year with Channel 4 in England and for it to be on national TV in France is another boost for rugby league. That’s what we want, we’ve got a great product.

“It’s going to be a great occasion. At training today there was a real buzz around the team.

“The boys that have been and done it before know how special it is. Winning trophies is something you never get bored of. It’s exciting every time you get a chance to do that.

“We know what’s at stake. It’s a special competition and, if we’re going to go and win it, we need to beat the best teams and that’s what Saints are.”

Tomkins previews opponents

Tomkins, 33, says his side have done their homework on the current champions ahead of the Challenge Cup clash. Kristian Woolf’s side currently sit at the top of the Super League table and have lost just one game all season – away at Toulouse.

“I don’t think they’ve ever looked unbeatable,” Tomkins said. 

“We’ve not looked at the Toulouse game. They play a different style to us and it obviously worked for them that day.

“At the start of the season Saints were too much for us. We’ve watched some footage of that this morning and we’ve seen the areas where we think we can be better and also the areas that Saints have weaknesses in which we need to exploit.

“It’s a pretty simple plan but it’s very tough to execute. We’ve not played very well over the last few weeks so we need to get back to some good form.”

In Saturday’s other quarter-final, Huddersfield host Hull while on Sunday Wigan go to Wakefield. The semi-final draw will take place at half-time during the final tie.

READ MORE: Catalans boss praises national coverage of Challenge Cup ahead of St Helens clash

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