England captain Sam Tomkins to retire at the end of 2023

Josh McAllister
Sam Tomkins, PA Images

England captain and Catalans Dragons full-back Sam Tomkins has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2023 Super League season.

Tomkins, 33, announced his decision live on Sky Sports ahead of the Super League clash between Huddersfield and Castleford.

The former Wigan and New Zealand Warriors man has been forced into a decision due to an injury to his left knee.

Tomkins has made 242 Super League career appearances to date, having made his debut with Wigan back in 2008.

A product of the Warriors academy, he scored five tries against Whitehaven on his first appearance and went on to make 213 appearances in Cherry and White across two stints.

He featured across two seasons in the NRL with the New Zealand Warriors, making the move for a world record transfer fee in 2014.

Tomkins returned to Super League with Wigan in 2016, before switching to Perpignan with Catalans in 2019.

The two-time Man of Steel winner also led England in the delayed 2021 World Cup on home soil.

He will move into an off-field position with Catalans following his retirement from the field, he announced at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Sam Tomkins announces retirement at end of 2023

Tomkins said on Sky Sports: “Unfortunately, this is going to be my last season on the field.

“I can’t do it much longer. This year is going to be a push and I know I can get out there and perform this year, but I’m going to be moving into a role off the field next year, still with the Dragons.

“In my head, I still love the game. I’m still passionate about the game and I want to play. The rest of my body is saying continue, but unfortunately I’ve got that many issues in my knee now, that I can’t go much longer.

“It’s been a tough week and the club has been really supportive, but I had to go in last week and say I haven’t got long left.”

Sean O’Loughlin pays tribute

Former team-mate and captain Sean O’Loughlin commented: “A massive congratulations on the career you’ve had. Unbelievable career and unbelievably successful, it was fantastic being a part of that with you, playing alongside you and winning trophies with you.

“Got some great memories on and off the pitch, celebrations. You’ve left your mark on this club and others you’ve played at.

“I think the years you’ve had around those trophy eras, the influence you had on the team, the club and the game in general with how you played it, how you changed it, what you did as a player. You should be very proud and I wish you all the very best in the future. I’ll join you for a pint in the next few months and celebrate the good times.”

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