Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins is on the brink of his long-awaited comeback from injury as the Super League champions prepare to welcome back a host of players from injury in the coming weeks.
Tomkins has made only 16 appearances since returning from NRL side New Zealand Warriors at the start of last season – and the England international missed Wigan’s run-in to Grand Final glory last year with a foot injury.
He has subsequently seen his comeback date pushed back numerous times – but Warriors coach Shaun Wane revealed at his weekly pre-match press conference that Tomkins could even be fit for next weekend’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Warrington.
“If he doesn’t play in that game, it’ll be the week after,” said Wane.”He’s under no pressure from me.
“He’s done a full session every day this week so he’s fit and ready to go.”
Tomkins, capped 23 times by his country, was left out of the revised Elite Performance Squad named by England coach Wayne Bennett last week – but Wane has insisted Tomkins’ focus will be on club rugby.
“Sam’s sole motivation will be to play for me after being missing for so long,” added Wane.”I’d be disappointed if he thought about England. He owes us. He needs to play for us.”We’ve missed him. He’s a fantastic individual.”
And Tomkins’ imminent return is not the only boost for Wane. Fellow international John Bateman is on the verge of a comeback – while Anthony Gelling, Sean O’Loughlin, Liam Farrell and Sam Powell could also play.