Sam Tomkins has been through a lot since he last played at Wembley four years ago.
Following his last action on the hallowed turf, Tomkins has travelled across the world to play in New Zealand, become a father for the first – and second – time and returned to his boyhood club.
But one thing that hasn’t occurred since the start of his Antipodean adventure, parenthood and everything else is something that has been such a prevalent tradition for years, a Wigan trip to the capital.
Wigan’s cherry and white has not been represented at the nation’s stadium since Tomkins played in the 2013 showpiece, when the Warriors defeated this weekend’s opponents, Hull FC.
But with Wigan and Tomkins set to make the march up Wembley Way today, Tomkins is determined to make up for lost time.
“Four years is too long between cups for this club. It’s time to put that right on Saturday,” he said.
“For many years it was seen as Wigan’s trophy and the club is synonymous with success in the cup. You’re expected to win big games and finals, and up until 2010 we’d been in a bit of a drought when it came to winning trophies.
“In recent years that’s changed though and we want that to continue this weekend.”
The makeup of Tomkins’ life away from the field has changed substantially since his return to the club, but despite the wide contrasts, he insists he remains as hungry as ever.
“I’m probably more mature than I was four years ago,” he pointed out.
“But apart from that, I’m still the same player and as hungry as I was back then. I don’t think I’ve changed a great deal but I’m a bit older and I’ve got two kids now – so that’ll be special, knowing the two boys will be there at Wembley.”
In the time since these last two sides have met at Wembley, Hull have transformed from being big-time pretenders to genuine title contenders.
Their transition hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“They’re a lot better now than they were back then,” he admitted.
“They deserve to be in another final; they beat Castleford in the quarter-finals which I thought was their best performance of the year, and we’ll be expecting a repeat of that on Saturday.”