England wait on Sam Tomkins’ fitness

Sam Tomkins is in doubt for England’s Test match against France at Leigh on Saturday with a knee problem.

Head coach Steve McNamara has revealed the full-back is still troubled by the injury which sidelined him during the New Zealand Warriors’ season and helped bring his NRL career to a premature end.

Tomkins, who cut short his stint in Auckland to rejoin Wigan for 2016, trained on his own on Tuesday at England’s new base at the FA’s training camp in Staffordshire.

It is almost two months since Tomkins last played but McNamara insists he won’t rush him back but remains confident he will be fit for the start of the three-match Test series against New Zealand, which gets under in Hull on Sunday week.

“Sam has had an issue from the NRL season,” McNamara said in his first press conference since returning from his job as assistant coach of Sydney Roosters.

“If Sam’s fit he will be considered, if he’s not we’ll get him right for the week after.

“He’s a strong chance of playing this week. We’ll probably know a little bit more after another session tomorrow.

“It’s the same injury he had when he was at the Warriors. He needed a fair bit of attention when he came back which he’s been getting. We’ll continue to monitor that but I can’t see there being any problems moving forward.”

England captain Sean O’Loughlin also sat out Tuesday’s contact session but like Tomkins, has not yet been ruled out of Saturday’s game at Leigh Sports Village.

McNamara will announce his 19-man squad for the French game on Wednesday and says the nine grand finalists from Leeds and Wigan will be available.

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