Sam Tomkins insists he has nothing to prove as he prepares to face NRL opposition for the first time since leaving the Southern Hemisphere.
The 28-year-old spent two seasons at New Zealand Warriors before returning to Wigan in 2016. It proved to be a mixed spell for the England international, who admits his time Down Under had its ups and downs.
But as Wigan prepare for Saturday’s clash with South Sydney, he doesn’t feel the need to prove his doubters wrong.
“That’s not what I’m about,” said Tomkins. “I play for Wigan now and my focus is on playing well for them. I want to play well every week, whether it’s in Australia, New Zealand, England or France.
“I loved living in New Zealand. For the team and me personally it was up and down. We missed out on the play-offs and we weren’t very consistent, and that was mirrored by some of my form as well. I had some good games and some bad ones, but I certainly learnt a lot.”
The game gives Wigan another chance to prove themselves in Australia, after winning the World Club Challenge last year with victory over Cronulla.
Tomkins accepts Super League has its fair share of critics in the Southern Hemisphere, but he insists he won’t use that as motivation. “I think opinions are varied,” he added.
“A lot of people have respect for the competition because they’ve been involved in it or know someone who has been involved in it. But there are others who just dismiss it as second rate.
“You’re going to get that and it doesn’t upset me anyway. We know what we’ve got in our competition and hopefully we can show it and change a few minds.
“We’ve proved we can compete with them, we’re World Club Champions. We beat a very good Cronulla side at the start of last year. We’ve proved it and Leeds have proved it over the years.
“We just want to bridge that gap in the consistency of the good teams in the NRL compared to Super League.
“I think that’s the difference. In the NRL every game is tough, you rarely see blow-out scores, but with us, you do.”
Meanwhile, Tomkins refused to rule out a return to the NRL before his career comes to an end, saying: “Never say never. I’ve got one year left on my deal at Wigan and I’ll look at some options, but it’s not something I’d rule out.”