Tomkins ready for comeback
Dual-code international Joel Tomkins is set to make his eagerly-awaited return for Wigan Warriors in Thursday's First Utility Super League match against Salford Red Devils at the DW Stadium.
The 27-year-old centre or second rower, who rejoined the champions on a four-and-a-half-year deal from Saracens six weeks ago, has recovered from a back injury and has been named in coach Shaun Wane's 19-man squad.
"I've taken my time with him," Wane said. "He was ready probably a week ago. He's been really keen to play but I wouldn't have put him in if he's not right.
"This is the game - I want him to have a home game and I'm sure the fans will love seeing him back in the cherry and white jersey."
Tomkins said: "I've tried to just come in and work as hard as I can since I came back to the club. It's great to be named in the squad and I can't wait to pull that famous jersey on once again."
Wane will make a final call after tomorrow's last training session and if, as seems likely, Tomkins gets the nod, he could make his return against his youngest brother Logan, who is playing for the Red Devils on a season-long loan from Wigan.
Joel was a regular alongside middle brother Sam, who is now with New Zealand Warriors, but left his home-town club before Logan broke through into the Wigan first team.
Logan, who turns 22 on Friday, deputised for the suspended Tommy Lee in Salford's defeat by Leeds Rhinos last Friday and is hoping to keep his spot in coach Iestyn Harris' side.
Joel Tomkins' last match for the Warriors was in their 26-18 defeat by St Helens in the 2011 play-off semi-finals, six weeks after scoring a memorable try in their Challenge Cup final victory over Leeds at Wembley, and Wane is excited at the prospect of his return, especially after his side's shock defeat at Bradford Bulls on Sunday.
"If it's not this Thursday, it will be against Hull KR but I'm very keen to put him out," Wane said. "I'm very confident he will do a job.
"He's been training very well and he's done a fair bit of wrestle with me, so he's back into it again.
"I'm not expecting great things for a few weeks but he's going to be an asset. He is a big unit on the edge and he's very skilful, as he's shown in the past.
"I'm excited he's back with us and I'm looking forward to seeing how he goes on Thursday."