Tomkins eyes grand finale
It is fitting that Sam Tomkins will share a stage with England team-mate Adrian Morley for his grand farewell after the Warrington Wolves captain sold him the idea of playing in the NRL.
The 24-year-old Wigan Warriors full-back will bring down the curtain on his Super League career at the end of Saturday's Grand Final and then turn his thoughts towards making a fresh start with New Zealand Warriors.
After spending six years with Sydney Roosters, where he was a huge success, Morley was an obvious source of tips once Tomkins became smitten by the idea of playing in the NRL.
"Moz was one of the first people I rang," Tomkins said. "I told him what I was thinking about doing and he gave me some good advice and tipped me up on what to expect."
While Tomkins, along with team-mates Lee Mossop and Pat Richards, will bid a fond farewell to Super League at Old Trafford, Morley will be moving on to fresh pastures closer to home, having agreed to a farewell fling with Salford City Reds, where he was born and bred.
At 36, Morley will be the oldest player to appear in the Grand Final - with the retirement of 39-year-old Steve Menzies he will also be the elder statesman of Super League in 2014 - but he is showing few signs of slowing down.
"You expect people like Moz and JP (Jamie Peacock) to go downhill and fade away a bit but they just don't," Tomkins said.
"Moz has been a legend over here, gone out to Australia and battered everyone there and then come back and he's still doing the same.
"It's great to have a player like Moz still in Super League. He'll want to finish on a high for Warrington, just the same as us Wigan lads, so there's going to be some sad faces on Saturday night, as well as some with a dream ending."
Tomkins' bid for a fairytale finish hinges on whether Wigan can become only the third club to complete league and cup double that eluded them two years ago.
He believes the team are better prepared to finish the job this time.
"Our training at Wigan has been very different to any other year I've been involved in to make us fresh at this time of year," he said.
"In 2011 we won at Wembley and we had a bit of a Challenge Cup hangover as they call it. We struggled for a few weeks afterwards.
"But we've not had it this year because we adapted our training."