Wigan Warriors confirm Sam Tomkins' departure
Sam Tomkins will leave Wigan Warriors at the end of the season, it has been confirmed.
The 29-year-old began his career with Wigan in 2008, leaving for the New Zealand Warriors in 2014 before returning after two seasons.
A statement from Kris Radlinksi, Wigan's executive director, explained the club had decided not to take up an option to keep Tomkins for 2019.
"After a great deal of consideration, taking all of the factors into account and following an open and honest conversation with Sam, the club felt that the option salary set when Sam returned from New Zealand was too high and opted instead to offer a substantial new four-year deal in its place," Radlinski said.
"This new deal was still one of the top three contracts that the club has offered anyone in the past 10 years and was as a marquee player still.
“Sam subsequently 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."
Tomkins is widely expected to join Catalan Dragons, although Radlinksi also explained Wigan's surprise that another club had approached him before the deadline.
"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."
Wigan currently sit second in the Super League table, and will be hoping Tomkins can help them to another title before he departs the club. They are also in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup, where they will face a trip to the Halliwell-Jones Stadium to face Warrington Wolves for a place in the last four.