England rugby league international Sam Tomkins is to rejoin Wigan for the 2016 European season, the Super League side announced on Thursday.
In a statement, Wigan said the 26-year-old Tomkins would be returning to the Lancashire club for a transfer fee in excess of STG200,000 ($A386,000) on a four-year contract after two years in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors.
It is only 18 months since the fullback left Wigan, his first top-flight club, where he played from from 2008 to 2013, to join the Warriors for a reported contract of STG700,000 ($A1.35 million).
Tomkins, who left Wigan after their 2013 Grand Final triumph, was released from the last 12 months of his three-year contract with the Auckland-based Warriors after becoming homesick.
Wigan retained first option to re-sign Tomkins in the event of his returning to Super League and made the announcement of his return during half-time in Thursday’s Super League match at home to Warrington at the DW Stadium.
“I am really happy to have this sorted and to be returning home to Wigan,” Tomkins said on the big screen.
“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.”
Tomkins is the third England international to rejoin Wigan in the past 12 months.
Older brother Joel returned from a spell in rugby union with Saracens in June and prop forward Lee Mossop cut short his stay in the NRL with Sydney club Parramatta at the end of last season.
Sam Tomkins, who made his Wigan debut aged 19, scored 107 tries in 129 Super League appearances during his first spell with the club.
His return is likely to see the departure from Wigan of Australian fullback Matt Bowen, signed as Tomkins’ replacement initially on a 12-month contract which was subsequently extended.
Tomkins, currently recovering from a knee injury, added: “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.
“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.”