Tomkins braced for long-awaited comeback

Sam Tomkins is ready to make his comeback after withstanding all that Wigan coach Shaun Wane could throw at him in training.

The 27-year-old former Warriors fullback will end a nine-month injury lay-off when he begins his second stint with his home-town club in Friday’s Super League clash with Hull at the DW Stadium.

Tomkins had been plagued by knee trouble since March 2015, early in his second season with the Warriors, and missed England’s Test series against the Kiwis late last year in order to undergo surgery in which he received a prosthetic posterior cruciate ligament.

He resumed training with Wigan a month ago and got the nod to make his eagerly-awaited return after being put through a rigorous training session.

“I had three players flying into him and attacking him from everywhere for 20 minutes,” Wane said.

“It was good. I enjoyed it but he hated it.”

Forwards Ryan Sutton, Greg Burke and Jack Higginson were given the task of testing Tomkins’ ability to stand up to the most ferocious of tackles.

“He loves that physical stuff,” Tomkins said. “I didn’t enjoy it.

“It was me and Jake Shorrocks, a young lad who’s got a similar knee injury, and it was the final tests of our knees, three forwards throwing their bodies into you, two holding you up and one coming in and pinning your knees.

“We both came through with our knees intact and if we can withstand that, we should be alright for a game.

“I don’t worry about the first tackle; if you watched our training for the last two weeks, I’ve been tackled more then than I have been in the last eight years.”

Tomkins, the 2012 Man of Steel, scored 144 tries in 152 appearances for Wigan from 2008 to the 2013 Grand Final when he joined the Auckland club for a world record transfer fee thought to be around STG700,000. ($A1.38 million).

However, he opted out of the final year of his three-year deal, citing homesickness, and Wigan swiftly re-signed him for around 200,000 on a four-year deal.

Tomkins, who recently became a father, is relieved to finally get the chance to make his return.

“I’m glad it’s finally come to the time to get my boots on and get out there,” he said.

“I’ve been thinking about playing for a month.”

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