Schooled For Success
Current Engage Super League Young Player of the Year Sam Tomkins played in the Carnegie Champion Schools Tournament six years ago, representing various age groups for St John Fisher School in Wigan.
Both Sam and his brother Joel Tomkins featured in Carnegie Champion Schools Finals and have now progressed to Super League and international level.
Sam was captain of the St John Fisher rugby team and joined Wigan Warriors, making his first team appearance on 12 May 2008 against Whitehaven scoring five tries.
Sam Tomkins said: “I was part of the St John Fisher school team that won the Carnegie Champion Schools tournament two years on the trot.
“We went to play our finals in Cardiff on the day before the Challenge Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium and then we went to see the big match the next day.”
The 2009 season was a sensational year for Sam; he established himself as a regular in the Wigan Warriors side and was awarded an England call up for the Four Nations.
Sam took his opportunity with both hands following an injury to Tim Smith and made the stand-off position his own.
Tomkins' meteoric rise up the Rugby League ladder comes as no surprise to his former St John Fisher Physical Education teacher Andy Unsworth, who was among the first to spot his immense potential.
Commenting on the early coaching of both Tomkins brothers, Andy Unsworth said: "Both players showed a real flare for Rugby League.”
"As a schoolboy, Sam showed similar skills as he does now - great speed, the ability to make breaks and bags of natural ability.”
"He showed great leadership qualities and captained the St John Fisher side for five or six years and progressed well.”
"He was small but he instantly demonstrated great potential and good skills. He controlled the games and always competed against the bigger players and was never hindered by his size.”
“Sam was an intelligent boy and did well academically, he was a pleasure to teach and received an A* at GCSE Physical Education.”
“He remains in contact with the school and has been a guest at award evenings where he has presented trophies to current students.”
“I always sensed Sam had what it takes to go all the way. Now I can enjoy watching his career develop and the success he has still to come.”