Tomkins backs Kiwis to shock in World Cup final

Last updated 13:37 26/11/2013
Sam Tomkins
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WORLD BEATERS: Warriors-bound England star Sam Tomkins is backing the Kiwis to win the World Cup final.

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Warriors-bound England star Sam Tomkins is backing the Kiwis to win the World Cup final against Australia.

Tomkins is finding it hard to get over England's last-gasp semifinal loss to the Kiwis last Sunday but is turning his attentions to his shift to New Zealand and a three-year stint in the NRL with the Warriors.

That means the Wigan fullback will briefly switch allegiances for the World Cup final at Old Trafford this weekend.

"It's a big challenge, a big opportunity," Tomkins said of his move to the Warriors.

"And some of the boys I played against on Saturday I'll be playing alongside. Hopefully they'll go on and win it [the World Cup].

"Good luck to New Zealand against Australia in a repeat of the 2008 final, they pulled a rabbit from the hat when Shaun Johnson went over from the last set of the match against us.

"To lose in the dying seconds like that is absolutely gutting."

Tomkins will spend a week in Auckland from December 9 on promotional duties.

His tight schedule with Wigan and England meant the Warriors were unable to get much impact out of their heavyweight signing once the deal was sealed earlier in the year.

He will come with his manager, Andy Clarke. Tomkins will meet Warriors sponsors, club members, his new team-mates and football coaching staff plus club management and staff as well as enjoying the sights of his new home.

He will return to Auckland in the new year to begin training for what he believes will be a defining time in his career, as he plays week-in, week-out in the game's toughest competition.

With his speed and gifted footwork, Tomkins looms as a likely star for the Warriors in the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines tournament at Eden Park on February 15-16.

Meanwhile, Tomkins believes England need to arrange more games if they are to be more consistent on the international stage.

"We need to look at games like this and realise England need to be playing internationals against the best in the world," Tomkins said as he digested the World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand.

"We need more tough tests, we are only going to get better that way.

"The Aussies and Kiwis are playing each other mid-season, whereas we have a year off when we are playing Wales and the like and it doesn't help us.

"We're not as consistent as we can be or should be but in big games we've proved that we can compete.

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"We competed with the Aussies for the majority of the game and then slipped away and on Saturday it was literally the last seconds. It could have gone either way."

- Fairfax Media

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