Dragons duo driven by England ambition

Catalans Dragons will travel to Castleford on Thursday without key playmaker Sam Tomkins and top try-scorer Tom Davies.

Both players have been selected in the England squad for Friday’s Combined Nations All Stars match.

The pair face a demanding 36-hour return road trip by car to link up with the England squad because suitable flights were unavailable due to Covid precautions.

Coach Steve McNamara told League Express: “We didn’t want to put Sam and Tom on commercial flights because of the virus and a private flight wasn’t an option, so they are driving.

“It’s not an ideal option to have two of your best players sitting in a car for 18 hours, both ways, but they are desperate to play for England and this was the best and safest way of them doing so.

“It’s a massive honour to play for and represent your country and I fully understand their commitment.”

McNamara said he was delighted for Davies, who could earn his first England cap.

“When we signed him we knew he was coming back from a horrific injury (a dislocated and broken ankle) picked up with Wigan and you’re never quite sure how a player will recover, physically and mentally, from such an ordeal.

“But when I first met Tom I instantly understood his enthusiasm and commitment, and I knew he would overcome all of that.

“To develop as he has done this season is a real credit to him, it is clear that he’s really happy in his environment.

“He is getting to play a style that suits him and he’s doing a great job of it and fully deserves his call-up to the England squad.”

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