Tomkins backs Bennett to take England to top

Wigan Warriors and England full-back Sam Tomkins has insisted that the appointment of Wayne Bennett as the new national coach is one that could take the team where he wants them to be – number one in the world rankings.

Despite beating current #1 side New Zealand late last year, England remain third on the RLIF rankings, behind the Kiwis and Australia, as has been the case for years.

But following Bennett’s appointment on Tuesday, Tomkins told the BBC that he feels Bennett’s huge experience within Rugby League can only be a plus for England, and he is targeting top spot in the years to come.

“The gap between us, Australia and New Zealand is smaller than ever,” said Tomkins.

“His experience will help us,” added Tomkins. “Becoming the world’s leading side is the target, 100%.

“Wayne Bennett is a big signing. He’s been proven in the NRL for a number of years.

“He’s got all the experience in the world so there’s no reason he can’t bring that to us and push us on.”

Tomkins also paid credit to former coach Steve McNamara for the work he has done with the national team since 2010, though.

“Steve McNamara has done a great job and he should be commended.

“He’s leaving the England set-up in a much better place than he found it and that’s testament to him.”