Saracens newcomer Joel Tomkins bags two tries on rugby union debut

Joel Tomkins
Tomkins played 149 times for hometown club Wigan following his debut in 2005

Cross-code convert Joel Tomkins made a dream start to his rugby union career with two tries on his Saracens debut.

England international Tomkins, signed in November from Super League side Wigan, played at centre in Sarries' 41-14 LV= Cup win against Worcester.

The 24-year-old crossed twice in five second-half minutes as Sarries hit back from a 14-13 half-time deficit.

"Joel is an intelligent player and the more he plays the better he'll become," said Saracens coach Alex Sanderson.

"We have big hopes for Joel in the future, because he is a very talented lad."

Tomkins joined the Premiership champions in a deal worth a reported £250,000 after deciding he wanted to make the switch to union and he has already revealed that he has targeted breaking into the England rugby union squad.

Andy Farrell, who is on the coaching staff for both Sarries and England, and Tomkins' old school pal Chris Ashton, are two fellow Wiganers who have made a successful transition between the two codes in recent years. And Sanderson is confident that Tomkins can make an impact.

"His core skills are second to none, as you would expect from a rugby league player," said Sanderson.

"The way he took his chances in the final quarter, when a debutant coming from league might be forgiven had he drifted out of the game, was impressive."

Tomkins, along with his brother and ex-Wigan team-mate Sam, were linked to cross-code moves last September when they joined Ashton in signing up for a sports management company associated with rugby union clients.

But full-back Sam, 22, signed a new Wigan deal to stay in rugby league on the same day that his brother joined Saracens.

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