Sam Tomkins wins third rugby league writers’ award

Sam Tomkins in action for Catalans
Sam Tomkins has been in fine form for Catalans this season
Catalans Dragons and England full-back Sam Tomkins has been voted the Rugby League Writers and Broadcasters Association’s player of the year for the third time.Sam Tomkins won the award back to back as a Wigan player in 2011 and 2012. He has been pivotal in the Dragons’ best-ever Super League campaign.

The French club lifted the League Leaders’ Shield and on Thursday night in Perpignan will take on Hull KR for a place in the Grand Final.

The Catalans’ historic season is further recognised by the awarding of the Association’s prestigious merit award for services to rugby league to club owner Bernard Guasch.

Tomkins polled two-thirds of the votes of association members to land the Ray Fletcher Shield ahead of Castleford’s Paul McShane and the St Helens trio of Lachlan Coote, Alex Walmsley and Morgan Knowles.

Sam Tomkins reacts to his award win

Tomkins, who is also on the Steve Prescott Man of Steel short-list, paid tribute to his team-mates.

He said: “The season’s gone well for me but it goes hand in hand as a full-back. You can play well if the guys in front of you are doing well.

“We’ve got players in the team that have been eight and nine out of 10 all year. For me to play in a confident group on the front foot, as a full-back that gives you the opportunity to play well.

“I’m reaping the rewards of the guys in front of me playing well.”

Tomkins has pulled the strings on the field since his move from Wigan. However, Guasch has masterminded the rise of the Dragons, who won the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2018.

He founded the club from an amalgamation of St Esteve and XIII Catalan. Taking them into Super League in 2006, his considerable financial commitment ensured they weathered the storm created by the pandemic.

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