Sam Tomkins was named the Super League Man of Steel for the second time in his career in 2021. His Catalan Dragons side won the League Leaders’ Shield and the full-back played an integral role in the French side’s success.
Tomkins is now just one of four players who have been handed this award more than once in their careers. Ellery Hanley, Paul Sculthorpe and Andy Farrell are the other men, and he joins legendary company there.
The Dragons player scored 10 tries in the regular season in 2021 and also assisted 20. He has consistently performed at a high level throughout the Super League campaign. Tomkins beat Hull’s Jordan Abdull and Jose Connor, who both were shortlisted alongside the England star.
The last time Tomkins won the most prestigious individual award in the Super League was in 2012 when playing for Wigan. It was clear then that he would go on to have a great career and that has proved to be the case.
Tomkins coach Steve McNamara made it a double for Catalans as he was named the Coach of the Year in the end-of-season awards. The pair have both shown great leadership skills this season and their experience has been invaluable.
Tomkins Continues To Be Linked With Rugby Union
Throughout his career, Tomkins has been linked with a switch in codes to rugby union. He played once for the Barbarians in 2011, while his brother Joel spent three years with Saracens, earning him three England caps during that spell.
At the age of 32, he could still try his hand at union. His contract at Catalan ends at the conclusion of 2021, but he does have an option to extend it by a year. There are sure to be offers from numerous rugby union clubs.
Tomkins could have his eyes at featuring at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. England are 4/1 in the rugby union betting for the tournament, but if the two-time Man of Steel winner was selected, their chances would be boosted.
Englishman Has Cut It In The NRL
Not many English players move across to the NRL in Australia and have success in what is considered the best rugby league domestic competition in the world. Tomkins spent two seasons with the New Zealand Warriors between 2014-2015.
Tomkins has an immediate impact with the Warriors, which meant Kevin Locke became out of favour with the club and was forced to leave. He scored 14 tries in his 37 games for the NRL side. Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from playing more games.
There is no doubt Tomkins had the quality to continue in the NRL. He opted for a return to Wigan in 2016 as he was homesick. This was excellent news for the Warriors as he helped them win the Grand Final in 2018.
Where Tomkins decides to play the final years of his career, he is sure to offer so much. He is one of the best full-backs the Super League has seen and he will be fondly remembered by all of his clubs once he calls it a day.