Wigan Warriors: Sam Tomkins to join Catalans Dragons at end of season

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins turned down the offer of a new four-year deal with Wigan

Full-back Sam Tomkins will join Catalans Dragons on an initial three-year contract when he leaves Wigan Warriors at the end of the season.

The 29-year-old is the French side's first signing for 2019.

Tomkins, who has 23 England caps, spent five years playing under Catalans coach Steve McNamara for the national team.

Wigan had the option to keep Tomkins for 2019, but wanted to reduce the original terms in their offer of a new four-year contract.

"I'm really looking forward to the next chapter of my career at the Dragons," Tomkins told the Catalans website.

"I have always enjoyed playing at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium and it will be good to call it home. After speaking with Catalans, it was clear the club has big ambitions for the future and I want to be part of that."

Tomkins first joined Wigan, who are currently second in the Super League table, in 2008 and returned to the club in 2016 after two seasons at New Zealand Warriors.

"Nothing lasts forever," said Wigan's executive director Kris Radlinski. "Players will come and players will go. All we ever ask is that players give their all for the badge while they are at Wigan.

"Sam has done that and more - and will continue to do so until he can no longer. Being the competitive and ultimate professional that he is, I have no doubt that Sam will want to go out as a winner this season."

Tomkins has won two Super League Grand Finals and two Challenge Cups with Wigan, who have accused the Dragons of making an illegal approach for the player.

"Sam told us that the opportunity for him and his family to experience a different culture and lifestyle and to see his kids speaking another language was something that really appealed to him," Radlinski added.

"It came as a surprise to us that another club had engaged with Sam so early in the year when the deadline for approaching a player under contract is at the end of April.

"We have made our feelings known about this to the club involved."

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