Joel Tomkins

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Joel Tomkins
Joel Tomkins Wigan.jpg
Tomkins playing for Wigan in 2007
Personal information
Full name Joel Andrew Tomkins
Born (1987-03-21) 21 March 1987 (age 30)[1]
Warrington, Cheshire, England
Height 191 cm (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Weight 103 kg (16 st 3 lb; 227 lb)[1]
Playing information
Rugby league
Position Loose forward, Second-row, Prop
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2005–11 Wigan Warriors 150 49 0 0 196
2007(loan) Widnes Vikings 8 2 0 0 8
2014– Wigan Warriors 42 10 0 0 40
Total 200 61 0 0 244
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2010–14 England 6 1 0 0 4
Rugby union
Position Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2011–14 Saracens 44 8 0 0 40
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2013 England Saxons 2 0 0 0 0
2013 England 3 0 0 0 0
As of 15 April 2016

Joel Tomkins (born 21 March 1987) is an English professional rugby league footballer who plays for Wigan Warriors. From 2011 to June 2014, he played rugby union at outside centre for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership. He is an England international rugby league representative second-row forward and has so far played his whole rugby league career at Wigan (bar a brief stint at Widnes Vikings) winning the 2010 Super League Grand Final and 2011 Challenge Cup with them. During his time in union, he won his début England cap in England's 20-13 victory over Australia in the 2013 QBE Autumn International Series.[2]

Early life and family[edit]

Tomkins was born in Warrington and raised in Wigan. He is a former St. John Fisher player, he played in Wigan's Academy U18s in 2003. He was selected for the 2004 Academy Origin Series. Joel was one of the most highly rated talents in the Wigan Warriors Academy. He is the oldest brother of Sam Tomkins and Logan Tomkins.


In 2005 was called up into the first team at the age of 18 and made his first team début against Widnes Vikings in March 2005. During 2005 Joel made another 12 appearances scoring a total of 3 tries.

In February 2006 Joel agree a contract extension with Wigan Warriors which will keep him at the club until 2008. The talented youngster was given his first team chances under coach Ian Millward who had become head coach of Wigan Warriors in 2005. Joel started the first match of the 2006 season at Loose forward/Lock in a match against the Catalans Dragons which Wigan lost 38-30. Joel was demoted to the bench for the second match of the season against Leeds Rhinos. After 17 minutes he was brought off the bench and scored a try with his first touch of the ball to give Wigan a 4-0 lead, Wigan lost the match 16-24. Joel started from the bench for the next two matches against Huddersfield Giants and Salford City Reds but was dropped to the academy. He returned to the squad when he was named on the bench for the Challenge Cup Fourth Round match against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on 2 April 2006, he also played in the next couple of Super League matches against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and St. Helens before again being dropped to the academy. Team Coach, Ian Millward, was sacked in April 2006 because of the poor results of the Wigan side, he was replaced by Brian Noble on 20 April 2006. Wigan were bottom of the league and Noble decided to play a more experienced squad which meant that Joel would not make another appearance during 2006.

Joel started the 2007 season in the Wigan Warriors Senior Academy where he was in good form scoring 5 tries in one match against Hull Kingston Rovers Academy but despite this he was not called up into the first team squad until 18 May 2007 for the super league match against Hull Kingston Rovers. Joel suffered an ankle injury during the match and missed 2 weeks before returning the Senior Academy and later returned to the first team for the match against Catalans Dragons on 15 June 2007.

On 27 July 2007 the 20-year-old back-row forward joined Widnes Vikings, initially on a month's loan with a view to extending the deal to the end of the season. Widnes Head Coach Steve McCormack said "It's a really good signing for the Club. Joel has tremendous ability and experience."

He became a regular first team player for Wigan during the 2008 season. He was a substitute in Wigan's first match of the season against Harlequins RL. He was not included in the Wigan squad for the next two games against Castleford Tigers and Hull Kingston Rovers but returned to the squad as a substitute for the match against Bradford Bulls in which he scored his first try for 2008. Despite a good performance against Bradford he was not included in the squad for the next two super league games his place in the squad was taken by Australian second row Phil Bailey. His next appearance was in the Good Friday derby match against St Helens as a substitute. He kept his place in the squad for 13 consecutive games and he scored two more tries one against Warrington Wolves in super league round 14 and the other against Catalans Dragons in super league round 17.

Tomkins made five consecutive appearances at the start of the 2011 Wigan Warriors season, including the opening fixture against St Helens RLFC and the 2011 World Club Challenge, before being sent-off against Hull FC.[3][4][5] He received a two match ban for the incident, with his brother, Sam, also banned for one game.[6] Tomkins returned and scored his first try of the season in Round 8 against Leeds Rhinos.[7] His next tries came against Hull Kingston Rovers and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Rounds 10 and 12.[8][9]

Tomkins played at centre for Wigan in the 2011 Challenge Cup Final against Leeds Rhinos, scoring a try after brother Sam sent him down the wing. Tomkins fended the Leeds' scrum-half Danny McGuire off and sidestepped past Brent Webb and Carl Ablett to score under the post after an eighty-metre sprint. Wigan won the game 28–18, giving Tomkins his first Challenge Cup honour.

At the end of the 2010/2011 season Tomkins switched rugby codes after agreeing a £400,000 a year deal (£120,000 a year) at Saracens after a £250,000 release fee was agreed with Wigan Warriors.[10]

On 18 June 2014, Wigan Warriors announced that they had re-signed Tomkins with immediate effect.[11]

Representative career[edit]

Tomkins was selected to play for England Rugby League team against France in a one-off test in 2010.[12]

In 2013 Tomkins was called up for the first of his two caps for the second string England Saxons national rugby union team.[13] Starting at outside centre in both tests, Tomkins enjoyed initial success against the Ireland Wolfhounds in a closely contested match ending in a Saxon 14-10 victory.[14] However a week later, Tomkins experienced his first taste of defeat in a union white shirt at the hands of strong Scotland A team who ran out winners 9-13 in a rain swept match set in Newcastle.[15]

Following Tomkins's good form for Saracens in the 2013/2014 season and the vacancy of the no.13 jersey by injured incumbent Manu Tuilagi, Tomkins was selected at outside centre for England's 1st XV to face Australia in the 2 November 2013 QBE International Test.[16] A match England won 20-13 to regain the Cook Cup, with Tomkins debuting in a new centre partnership with Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees.[17]


  1. ^ a b c "Joel Tomkins Wigan Warriors". Rugby Football League. 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "'England 20-13 Australia". BBC. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Scott, Ged (12 February 2011). "St Helens 16-16 Wigan". BBC. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Andy (27 February 2011). "Wigan Warriors make brave attempt but Dragons are still worlds apart". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Wigan Warriors 14-12 Hull FC". BBC. 13 March 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Higham, Paul (15 March 2011). "Wigan lose Tomkins brothers". Sky Sports. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Leeds Rhinos 22-22 Wigan Warriors". BBC. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Hull KR 16-28 Wigan". BBC. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Wakefield 0 Wigan 26: Woeful Wildcats tamed by Tomkins as champions roll on". Daily Mail. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Tomkins set to quit Wigan and make Union switch to Saracens". talkSPORT. 2011-10-10. Retrieved 2011-10-10. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Hadfield, Dave (2010-06-13). "Widdop passes his first Test at a canter". The Independent. UK: Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  13. ^ 'Player Profile', RFU Website
  14. ^ 'Ireland Wolfhounds 10-14 England Saxons', BBC,
  15. ^ 'England Saxons 9-13 Scotland A', BBC,
  16. ^ 'England vs Australia: Joel Tomkins and Lee Dickson to start', BBC,
  17. ^ "'England V Australia - As it happened'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 

External links[edit]