Catalans Dragons have confirmed that Joel Tomkins will leave the club at the end of the 2021 season to join Leigh Centurions.
A former England international in both Rugby League and union, Tomkins, 34, signed for the Dragons last season. So far he has made 19 appearances and scored four tries for Catalans, although his time with the club has been blighted by several suspensions after appearances before the RFL disciplinary panel.
“I would like to thank everyone at the Dragons for welcoming me and my family to Perpignan over the last two seasons,” said Tomkins.
“Special thanks to Bernard (Guasch), who, through the adversity of the covid pandemic, has always put the needs of players and staff at the Dragons before himself. The way he and the club have handled the situation over the last two years has been unbelievable.
“I think the club is in a great position to go on and achieve success in years to come with the young group of French players coming through and I wish Alex (Chan), Steve (McNamara) and the players good luck for the future.
“There is still alot of work to be done before I leave at the end of the season and our goal as a team and the club is to win the Grand Final and bring the trophy back to Perpignan.
“I will leave with a heavy heart after making some great friends during the last two years, but throughout my career I have always looked for new challenges as it is a short career in professional sport and this move feels right for me and my family. I feel I have a lot to give to Leigh Centurions even as I come towards the end of my career.”
Steve McNamara, Catalans Dragons head coach, paid tribute to Tomkins, whose younger brother Sam will remain with the Dragons next year.
“We understand and accept Joel’s decision to return home” said McNamara.
“He will be sorely missed as I feel he is in great form right now and will continue to be for the rest of the season.”