Tomkins ready to learn from Deacon
Wigan Warriors rising star Sam Tomkins is relishing the chance to continue his Rugby League education in 2010 under the guidance of Engage Super League veteran Paul Deacon.
The 20-year-old England international stand-off will play alongside the 30-year-old former Bradford Bulls and Great Britain scrum-half in Wigan’s famous cherry and white strip this season and believes Deacon’s experience will be invaluable.
Deacon joined the Warriors in December after 11 seasons at Bradford and has already made a big impression on Tomkins, who is looking forward to establishing himself in the Wigan starting line after a mercurial breakthrough season which saw him crowned Engage Super League Young Player of the Year.
“Paul’s been a top player for many years now and I think I’m going to learn quite a bit from him,” said Tomkins. “His organisational skills are top class so I’m hoping to pick a few things up.
“He’s like the dad of the group; he’s got 10 years on me so hopefully he’s going to pass on a few pearls of wisdom.”
Tomkins believes Wigan are ready to make the next step after going agonisingly close to reaching the Engage Super League Grand Final in both 2008 and 2009.
“In the last couple of years we’ve just fallen at the semi-final hurdle and that’s been tough,” he said. “We’re ready to take the next step now, though, and the changes that have taken place since the end of last season will help us do just that.
“I think we’re going to do well. We’re training hard, everyone’s doing their bit and looking in great shape so I think if we can carry that off the training field on to the playing pitch we’ll do pretty good.”
Tomkins is acutely aware that Wigan need to avoid a repeat of last year’s slow start if they are to be a force in a massively competitive Engage Super League season in 2010.
“It’s going to be a really tough year for everyone, I don’t think any team is going to be a walkover. Everyone’s just got to get off to that good start and that’s the main thing,” he said.
“We have to hit the ground running this year. Last season we started a bit slow which didn’t help us going into the play-offs so hopefully if we start a little bit better we’ll finish a little bit higher.”
Wigan Warriors host Crusaders RL in their first game of the 2010 Engage Super League season at The DW Stadium on Friday February 5 (8.00). Tickets can be purchased from the Wigan Warriors Ticket Office on 0871 66 33 552 or by visiting www.wiganwarriors.com