Leigh lose out as Tomkins retires

DUAL-CODE England international Joel Tomkins, the former Wigan, Hull KR and Catalans Dragons forward who was in line to play for Leigh, has retired.

The 34-year-old, who featured from the bench in Catalans’ Grand Final defeat by St Helens last month, has agreed a one-year Centurions contract.

“I thank Leigh for their understanding of my situation,” said Tomkins, who played rugby union for Saracens.

“Professional rugby has been a priority in my life for the last 17 years and now it feels right to retire.

“It has been a great way to earn a living and I have some great memories and have made some great friends at the few different clubs I have represented over the years.

“I wish them every success for the future. I wanted to do the right thing by the club, and they respect that.”

Leigh director of rugby Chris Chester said: “We’re obviously disappointed that Joel is not joining us, but we fully support his decision.

“Joel’s had a great career and he’s a person I’ve a huge amount of respect for.

“He always comes across as humble and we’ll miss his leadership, which was one of the biggest reasons we recruited him.”