Wigan have confirmed the re-signing of England International Sam Tomkins for a transfer fee in excess of £200,000 on a four-year contract.
Tomkins, 26, will re-join the Warriors for the 2016 season after two years in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors.
Sam will re-join his brother, Joel Tomkins, who also returned to the Warriors last year after three years at Saracens Rugby Union club.
Wigan Chairman Ian Lenagan is delighted with the signing, which will see Sam follow Joel Tomkins and Lee Mossop in re-joining the Wigan Club after having explored other areas of rugby.
“We have a strategy at Wigan of developing home-grown players and allowing players who want the extra challenge to go to the NRL or Rugby Union and return to Wigan as better players. With that, I am delighted to announce the return to Wigan of Sam Tomkins for 2016 onwards,” said Lenagan.
“Sam is undoubtedly one of the finest players in world rugby and we acted swiftly when it became apparent that he wanted to return to the UK.
“This is another tremendous signing for the Wigan Club and only serves to justify our policy of allowing players to experience other competitions whilst always keeping the option available for them to return to the Club in the future.
“A transfer fee in excess of £200,000 has been paid to allow Sam to be released from the final year of his contract with the Vodafone Warriors. We wish Sam and the Warriors all the best for the remainder of the 2015 season and look forward to him joining us next season.”
Speaking on the move back to Wigan, Sam Tomkins said:
“I am really happy to have this sorted and to be returning home to Wigan. All of my friends and family live in Wigan, a lot of them play for Wigan. It really was a no-brainer for me when I sat down and thought about things.
“It’s been a fantastic experience to test myself in the NRL but the reality is I am 13,000 miles away from my friends and family. When I left Wigan I always knew in my heart that I would return to play for the Club one day and I am very excited at the thought of returning to the DW Stadium and pulling on that famous jersey once again.
“I have really enjoyed my time in New Zealand and can’t thank everyone enough here as they have all done so much to make me feel welcome here since my arrival last year. My sole focus for the remainder of 2015 is to help the Warriors make the play-offs as we look to mount a serious challenge for the NRL Premiership.”
Head Coach Shaun Wane commented:
“Once I heard that Sam was looking to come back to England next year I knew we had to pull out all the stops to have him here. He is one of our own and a truly world class player. Sam knows what we are all about here at Wigan. He understands our culture and our systems and will slot perfectly back into my squad. My thanks go to our Chairman Ian Lenagan and Rugby Director Kris Radlinski who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”
The re-signing was announced at Half-Time of Wigan’s Super League game against Warrington Wolves on Thursday evening.