Man of Steel Sam Tomkins hailed for his influence on Catalans youngsters

Sam Tomkins wins 2021 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award
Sam Tomkins wins 2021 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award
Mourgue, 10 years Sam Tomkins’ junior, is standing by once more in case the England captain fails to shake off a knee injury in time for the Old Trafford title decider with St Helens.The 22-year-old Frenchman, who scored a try from full-back in his side’s 28-10 semi-final win over Hull KR, says he is confident in the makeshift role but will be just as happy to drop to the bench to accommodate his mentor.

Sam Tomkins setting the example

Mourgue said: “Sam’s influence is everything for me. I play this game the best I can and he’s the right example.

“He is very open, in training he is always giving advice and he’s very smart. He’s sees play before everybody else, he sees the space.”

Mourgue provides utility value

Mourgue is the pick of the crop of outstanding French youngsters who have played key roles in the Dragons’ success in 2021.

A specialist half-back, he modelled his game on the long-serving Thomas Bosc, now Steve McNamara’s right-hand man on the coaching staff, and Australian scrum-half Scott Dureau as he came through the junior ranks but is ready to fill in anywhere to help the team and, if not required at full-back, is likely to provide back-up for hooker Michael McIlorum.

Mourgue added: “I am sure I will be on the bench on Saturday and come on at nine but, if Sam is not available, I will be at one.

“I know what I have to do, everybody on the team has to be ready for this game. You train all year to play in a game like this.

“I always wanted to play for this club at the top level and this year I move a lot of positions. It’s important for me to have experience everywhere, I can see so much of every part of the game.”

Crazy opportunity

Mourgue performs the versatile role Super League’s player of the year Jack Welsby has fulfilled so impressively for Saturday’s opponents St Helens and has played in all but three of the Catalans’ 26 league and cup matches so far this year, far more than he anticipated.

He admits he will be nervous on his first visit to Old Trafford but oozes enough confidence to suggest it will not be a hindrance.

Mourgue said: “I’ve seen the stadium on TV and thought it would be great if one day I can play there. Now I get the opportunity, it’s crazy.

“I will be a little bit nervous but I know what I have to do and I know how we have to play to win this game so we will find a way to go past that.”

READ MORE: Tomkins named Man of Steel for second time

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