There’s an unfortunate irony surrounding the recent injury to Michael McIlorum, and it involves the hooker they will come up against when they face Salford on Thursday.
With Wigan’s influential hooker set to miss the next six months of the season, the Warriors are struggling in McIlorum’s position.
It’s a rather cruel twist given that for a number of years, Shaun Wane has had a now departed hooker at his disposal vying for a prolonged stay in the squad in the shape of Logan Tomkins.
Tomkins left Wigan in the off-season after failing to establish himself at the Warriors since making his debut in 2012.
In his four years in the first team he spent plenty of time getting game time at other clubs. He played for Widnes in 2011, had two spells at Salford and even played twice for Workington Town last year.
In the end, Tomkins made the brave move to leave his brothers and his first club behind in search of more frequent Super League action, eventually deciding on Salford.
On the eve of his return to the DW Stadium, Tomkins would have been a certainty to play in cherry and white had he remained at the club, and probably would have done so for a prolonged period given the severity of McIlorum’s injury. It’s a similar situation to the one in 2014 when, just two months after joining the Red Devils on a season-long loan, McIlourm broke his arm and was ruled out for two months.
However, despite knowing a run in the first team would have almost been assured at Wigan this season, Tomkins insists that he made the right decision to join Salford.
“It’s one of those things, I’m over it,” he told TotalRL.
“It wasn’t right for me to stay at Wigan at the time, I think it had run its course. Micky Mc is one of the best hookers about, so I couldn’t complain about not getting game time. It’s unfortunate what has happened to his ankle and I hope he gets back playing soon because he’s a good bloke that has helped me out loads.
“I’ve got no regrets leaving. I’m grateful for everything but eventually you just get to a stage in your career where you have to move on and I don’t think I’d have bettered myself at Wigan because it was so limited in my playing time. I couldn’t rely on Micky getting injured.
“I’m now looking forward to the rest of my career and making a name for myself.”
The Warriors will also be without Logan’s brothers, Sam and Joel, who continue to recover from respective injuries. Although, for the sake of the Tomkins family, it’s probably for the best.
“It only makes my day a bit easier,” admitted Tomkins.
“Joel is the big brother so whatever he says goes, so them not playing doesn’t bother me too much. The family support whoever we play for at the time. They quickly change from full on Wigan fans to Salford fans, so I don’t think they’ll be too fussed that there isn’t anyone on the Wigan side.
“I’ve been on the receiving end of the result when I’ve played. When I first went to Salford, Wigan won, and when I played for Wigan, Salford have won, so I don’t have a good track record!
“We beat Wigan in pre-season which set us up well for the season, but this will be a totally different game. It will be evenly matched.”