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Tomkins eyeing Auckland Nines' open spaces

Prolific try-scorer Sam Tomkins is relishing the prospect of the greater open territory that will be available at the NRL Auckland Nines.
Tomkins eyeing Auckland Nines' open spaces
by AAP

By Robert Lowe

AUCKLAND, Feb 3 AAP - Prolific try-scorer Sam Tomkins is relishing the prospect of the greater open territory that will be available at the NRL Auckland Nines.

The Warriors' star recruit will be part of the club's bid to win the inaugural tournament at Eden Park on February 15 and 16.

Tomkins amassed the impressive tally of 144 tries in 151 games during his six seasons with Wigan before leaving the English Super League champions at the end of last year.

He's expecting the shortened version of the game to suit him, but says the same will apply to any of the outside backs.

"You're looking at quite big spaces and you will certainly be blowing because you've got to cover a lot of ground," he said.

"There will be a couple of bigger blokes there as well. It will be tougher for them, I would say."

One point of interest will be what game plans unfold, with Tomkins seeing differences with rugby sevens.

"Sevens is a bit more all-round attack, whereas with the nines you have a couple of big blokes to lay the platform," he said.

"It will be good to see how different teams play."

Tomkins' participation in the tournament means he will sit out the Warriors' pre-season match against his former club in Hamilton three days earlier.

Wigan are using that fixture as a warm-up for their World Club Challenge against NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters on February 22.

Tomkins said he wouldn't have minded facing his one-time teammates but wasn't too bothered at missing out, because his priority is getting himself ready for the new NRL season.

"If the coaches see that playing nines will be better for me, then that's fine," he said.

"It will be great to see the boys. They're spending the week in Auckland so I'll get to spend a little bit of time with them."




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