Tomkins: Fans can make the difference

Wigan stand-off Sam Tomkins is calling for the club’s passionate fans to make their voices tell in Friday’s “massive” derby against St Helens.

Saints have already posted the ‘House Full’ notices for their last derby at Knowsley Road before they move to a new stadium in 2011 and Tomkins is acutely aware their rivals will be desperate to end 120 years of home derbies on a winning note.

“There’s going to be a massive crowd but the travelling support for us will be huge,” said Tomkins. “We’ve got great fans who follow us everywhere – and especially to St Helens – in their thousands.

“It’s probably one of the biggest games of 2010 so it would be great if our fans really got behind us. They really give us a lift when they’re in full voice.”

Tomkins turned 21 last Tuesday and the England international believes a win against St Helens on Friday would be the perfect belated birthday present. However he is not underestimating the threat that Saints pose to the Engage Super League leaders.

“They’re a very good team. I think they’ve proved over the last few years they’re a top team and this year is going to be no different,” he said.

Tomkins will line up against Leon Pryce, a potential rival for the England stand-off position, and knows that Wigan must be at their best to stop Pryce and a St Helens side who have reached the last four Engage Super League Grand Finals.

“Leon is a quality player who has been a key part of all the success Saints have had in the last few years,” said Tomkins.

“I’m sure Leon is going to play well on Friday because derbies bring out the best in everyone. These are the games that everybody wants to play in.

“Saints are going to have 13 blokes out that are all as desperate for a victory as we are.”

St Helens won three of the four derbies played in 2009, including a 10-6 home success last July, but Tomkins insists that history will have little bearing on the outcome on Friday.

“This is a new year, a new start and it’s going to be a good game but I think it will be hard to pick a winner,” he said.

Tickets for the St Helens v Wigan Warriors are now sold-out but Sky Sports subscribers can watch the game on Sky Sports HD1 on Friday April 2 (kick off 3.00pm.)

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