Catalans full-back Sam Tomkins says Wigan and St Helens hold the biggest derby in Super League.
Tomkins, 33, enjoyed two stints at the Warriors. He made his professional debut with the club in 2008, and went on to make more than 150 appearances between then and 2013.
He returned in 2016 after a stint in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors, and enjoyed plenty of clashes against St Helens.
The in-form full-back has been ruled out for Catalans’ clash with Toulouse on Thursday, missing up to four weeks of action due to a small fracture to the fibula.
The French derby is all part of Super League’s Rivals Rounds, with Hull facing Hull KR and St Helens hosting Wigan on Friday.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the England international said the derby between his boyhood club and St Helens is the biggest in the competition.
Sam Tomkins on Super League’s biggest rivalry
“It’s the biggest and it’s the best,” Tomkins said on Sky Sports.
“There’s 130 years of history between two clubs that are very close geographically.
“Going to school around Wigan, there was always a couple of St Helens fans around the school and I’m sure it’s the same in St Helens.
“It’s a rivalry that’s right through the town. There’s nobody in Wigan or Saints that don’t know about it. It’s built over time and it’s one of the greatest aspects of Super League.”
🗣️ "It's the biggest and the BEST!"
Sam Tomkins shares his thoughts on why the Saints vs Wigan derby is the biggest! 💪 pic.twitter.com/PFFfXf9cgx
— Sky Sports Rugby League (@SkySportsRL) April 13, 2022
Adam Swift disagrees
However, former St Helens winger Adam Swift disagreed with Tomkins. Despite making 130 appearances for his hometown club, the current Hull winger believes his current derby wins the title.
“In my opinion, I do think the Hull derby is the better derby,” he said on Sky Sports.
“It’s unbelievable. It was my first game at the club, the derby, and to experience that was unbelievable.
“I played another one after that and comparing against the two now, game styles are pretty much the same. They both start intense and throughout the game it’s always a close one.
“But I think off the field is where Hull takes the winner in my opinion. The fans are absolutely mental.”