Fullback rakes in green backs
Sam Tomkins (Getty Images)
London - England fullback Sam Tomkins is leaving Wigan at the end of the season to join the New Zealand Warriors in a record deal, the Super League club said on Monday.
The National Rugby League franchise have paid a world-record fee for the 24-year-old Tomkins who had been linked with a switch to rugby union.
Tomkins, voted the Super League's man of steel last year, will hope to end his Wigan career on a high by helping his team beat Leeds on Friday to reach the grand final against Warrington or Huddersfield.
"This has been a very difficult decision to make but it is now perfect timing for me to make the switch to the NRL," Tomkins said.
"It is something in my career I have always wanted to do and this agreement with the Warriors also allows me to return back to Wigan in the future.
"I head to New Zealand with some great memories of Grand Final and Challenge Cup success and some very special times.
The New Zealand Warriors will pay a fee for Tomkins which eclipses the £450 000 pounds Wigan paid Bradford for prop Stuart Fielden in 2006.
Wigan have signed 31-year-old Australian fullback Matty Bowen from North Queensland Cowboys to replace Tomkins.