Thursday 09

Rugby League

Tomkins defends his Catalans switch decision

11th November 2019, 15:31 by Craig Smithson

Joel Tomkins said it was a "no-brainer" to move to the south of France when Catalans Dragons approached him after his Hull KR exit.

The 32-year-old still had two years remaining on his contract with the Robins when he was allowed to leave Craven Park on "compassionate grounds" in September.

Tomkins said it was a strain being away from his children, who were living across the country in Wigan and he didn't want to relocate in Beverley.

A move back to the north west appeared to be on the cards but Tomkins instead linked up with younger brother Sam with the Dragons last month.

When asked to explain the decision to move to France when he didn't want to move his family to Hull, Tomkins told Hull Live: "I got the release and the initial plan was to move back to Wigan and try to get a deal at a club in the north west. Obviously, with Sam being my brother, he mentioned my situation to Steve McNamara and it just happened that he was looking for a back-rower, so he gave me a call.

"I've got a good relationship with Steve since playing for him with England. He said he'd heard I was leaving Hull but if I wanted a new challenge why not bring my family over here for a couple of years and give it a crack in the south of France?

"And that was it. It's absolutely nothing against Hull and I'm very fond of the place. I was living in Beverley and absolutely loved it, but for us as a family it wasn't worth moving there for a short stage at this time in my career.

"The chance to move to the south of France is a different thing altogether. I never expected this at this stage of my career, but I couldn't turn the offer down.

"For our kids to learn a different language and experience a different culture, along with the fact that the club is going places, it was a bit of a no-brainer.

"It's as simple as that. This is the one and only time I will talk about it. People who read into it and think there has been anything underhand are completely wrong."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

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