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Tomkins braced for NRL's lift in intensity

Marquee Warriors signing Sam Tomkins sees week-in week-out consistency as the area for greatest improvement in his game as he looks ahead to playing in the NRL.
Tomkins braced for NRL's lift in intensity
by AAP

By Robert Lowe

AUCKLAND, Dec 9 AAP - Marquee Warriors signing Sam Tomkins sees week-in week-out consistency as the area for greatest improvement in his game as he looks ahead to playing in the NRL.

The England and Wigan fullback arrived in Auckland on Monday for a week of promotional activity ahead his permanent shift to the city in early January on a three-year contract.

He points to greater intensity as a key difference between the NRL and English Super League, where he says it's possible to identify tough and easy months on the fixture calendar.

"In the NRL, every single week is a big game, so that's going to be the main adjustment," he said.

"The competition is that tough you have to play out of your skin every week if you want to be a stand-out player."

Tomkins, 24, leaves Wigan after six seasons during which he demonstrated his try-scoring ability by touching down 144 times in 151 games.

He said he didn't have a specific club in mind when he decided he wanted to move to the NRL.

What clinched it for him in terms of the Warriors was when his mother reported back from a reconnaissance trip to Auckland and told him "you'll love it there".

While he is one of the Warriors' most high-profile signings, Tomkins played down any added weight on his shoulders to perform.

"I'm coming here to play the best possible rugby I can and do everything I can for the team," he said.

"Regardless of whether there's pressure or not, I'm going to be giving 110 per cent anyway."

Tomkins' arrival means competition for the No.1 jersey worn by Kiwi Kevin Locke, a situation the Englishman regards as a positive for the Warriors.

"Kevin is an outstanding talent," he said.

"I think healthy competition in a team is really good and it means you're going to put a good team out every week."

But he is also happy to operate at five-eighth, a position he started off at and where he has played at international level.

Tomkins is continuing an influx of British talent into the NRL.

Another new face in 2014 will be ex-Wigan prop Lee Mossop, who is joining Parramatta.

The Warriors face the Eels in round one in March and it's a clash that Tomkins, who is good mates with Mossop, is looking forward to.

"I know all his weaknesses so I'll be trying to exploit them."




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