Joel Tomkins quits Wigan for Hull KR after ‘embarrassing’ bar incident

Aaron Bower
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Joel Tomkins was fined £10,000 by Wigan following footage emerging of him being abusing to staff in a bar.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Ashley Allen/Getty Images</span>
Joel Tomkins was fined £10,000 by Wigan following footage emerging of him being abusing to staff in a bar. Photograph: Ashley Allen/Getty Images

Joel Tomkins’s Wigan career is over after the forward agreed to cut ties with his hometown club and join Hull KR less than a week after being suspended following an “embarrassing” off-field incident.

The 31-year-old has signed a deal until the end of next season after Wigan accepted the player’s resignation following footage that emerged this month of him and his younger brother Sam being abusive towards staff in a bar in the town. Tomkins was fined £10,000 and stood down from selection for four weeks.

“I’m sure everybody is aware of what’s gone on at Wigan and I accepted the punishment from them,” Tomkins said. “I decided the best thing for all parties would be for me to leave.

“There were a few other Super League clubs interested as well as Rovers, but Tim [Sheens, the Hull  KR coach] called me personally and really sold the club to me, both for the back end of this year and next season.

“It has been embarrassing for me, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s a sad situation for me to leave Wigan in this way, but it’s also an opportunity to move to a club that’s on the rise.”

Jake Connor, Luke Thompson and Tommy Makinson are the three new inclusions in Wayne Bennett’s England squad for the Test against New Zealand in Denver on 23 June. Connor and Thompson, who have impressed for Hull and St Helens respectively this season, have been promoted from the England Knights squad.

England squad v New Zealand on 23 June, Denver J Bateman, G Burgess, S Burgess, T Burgess, J Connor, J Graham, R Hall, C Hill, J Lomax, T Makinson, J McGillvary, S O’Loughlin, M Percival, S Ratchford, J Roby, L Thompson, G Widdop, G Williams, E Whitehead.

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