Sam Tomkins to join England camp after Shaun Wane request

Aaron Bower
Sam Tomkins, PA Images

England have drafted in Sam Tomkins to help them prepare for Saturday’s Test match against France in Toulouse, it has emerged.

Tomkins, who is still based in France after remaining in a role with Catalans Dragons following his retirement at the end of last season, has been brought into the group to help boost the ranks in an unofficial role given a turbulent week for the national team.

They are in France without head coach Shaun Wane after he underwent an emergency ankle operation earlier this week, which eventually ruled him out of travelling with the team across the Channel.

And after a personal request from Wane and Andy Last – who will take the team in Wane’s absence on Saturday evening – Tomkins has agreed to come into camp to help the England team prepare for the game.

It is unclear what Tomkins’ specific role will be, but he will be on hand to provide the likes of Last with input and advice before and during the match in Toulouse.

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Last admitted earlier this week that Wane’s absence left a hole ‘nobody’ could fill.

“It’s a big hole to fill, one which nobody can fill. He’s gutted – the timing of this couldn’t be worse,” he said. “He loves spending time in that team environment and he’s missing that opportunity this week.

“Hopefully we can put in a strong performance for him to be proud of.”

The 35-year-old played his final match for England in a glittering international career in 2022, during the Rugby League World Cup which was held on home soil.

He made 29 Test appearances and captained his country on multiple occasions, including during that World Cup two years ago. And now, he has returned to the international fold to help England in their hour of need.

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