Tomkins: Time experienced players stepped up

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 11/07/2014
FOUR NATIONS: Sam Tomkins hopes to play against the Kiwis alongside his brother this year.
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FOUR NATIONS: Sam Tomkins hopes to play against the Kiwis alongside his brother this year.

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Sam Tomkins says it will come down to the Warriors' experienced players stepping up for the team to make their final push for a top eight spot.

Last weekend's bye was seen as a significant point in the season by the club. It was the last chance to refresh the batteries, refocus and then get stuck into nine weeks of footy in a row.

For players like Tomkins, Jacob Lillyman, Simon Mannering, Nathan Friend and the other senior figures in the squad, it's time to make their experience count.

''We know we're coming into the business end of the season and I think having the week off has given everyone time to refresh and get ready for this,'' Tomkins told Fairfax Media.

''We've got some games we must win coming up and I think all of the boys are ready for that.

''Experience counts at this point of the season, the league is very tight and there are only a few points separating a lot of sides.

''Wins become vital now, because you can quickly slip away or climb up that table, so we know how vital every week is,'' says Tomkins.

After the season finishes, Tomkins will hang around in this part of the world, to be a part of the Four Nations tournament, involving England, New Zealand, Australia and Samoa.

Recently his brother, Joel, announced he was switching codes again to play for Wigan after three years with Saracens. During this period he played three tests for England, but has decided to return to the 13-man code.

''I'm glad to see Joel is back home in Wigan,'' Sam says.

''He's had a great time at Saracens and has done a lot. He's a dual-code international and not many people can say that.

''Joel did remarkably well in the short time he was there, but he's a rugby league player at heart and I think this is great for him.''

Joel's return opens up the prospect of him teaming up with his brother in the Four Nations at the end of the year and not surprisingly, that's something Sam would like to see.

''I think he does [have a chance of playing]. He's not going to play many games before then, he's hoping to come back on August 1 from a back injury and if he can put some good performances together there's no reason why not,'' Sam says.

''He's played international before and [England coach] Steve McNamara has seen what he can do.

''His priority has got to be to play well at Wigan and internationals have got to be a bonus if they come, but he's certainly got to look at playing consistently well at Wigan.''

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