• Rugby League

Tomkins leaves Wigan in world-record transfer fee

ESPN staff
September 23, 2013
Sam Tomkins has scored 144 tries in 150 appearances for Wigan © PA Photos

Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins will join New Zealand Warriors at the end of the Super League season in a world-record fee.

The NRL side have eclipsed the £450,000 that Wigan spent on Stuart Fielden in 2006 to take the 2012 Man of Steel to the Southern Hemisphere.

Tomkins, England's all-time leading try scorer, has signed a three-year deal with the club that finished 11th of 16 teams in Australia's domestic league. His contract includes a buy-back clause for Wigan should he decide to return to the Super League.

"This has been a very difficult decision to make but it is now perfect timing for me to make the switch to the NRL," Tomkins said. "It is something in my career I have always wanted to do and this agreement with the Warriors also allows me to return back to Wigan in the future.

"I head to New Zealand with some great memories of Grand Final and Challenge Cup success and some very special times.

"Going to Auckland is a huge step for me and my rugby league career but one I am really looking forward to. I want to end my time with further success with Wigan as we aim for Grand Final glory, and then with England as we focus on winning the World Cup on home soil."

Wigan prop Lee Mossop and Warrington forward Mike Cooper, as well as Leeds Rhinos teenagers Jordan Baldwinson and Mason Tonks, are among the other English players heading to the NRL for the 2014 season.

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