League star set face Wallabies

2011-11-21 19:48
Sam Tomkins (File)

London - Much-coveted rugby league star Sam Tomkins is set to play for the Barbarians in their rugby union clash with World Cup semi-finalists Australia at Twickenham this Saturday.

The 22-year-old Wigan Warriors fullback - scorer of 26 tries in 25 Super League appearances - had pledged not to speak to rugby union clubs for three years but has been given permission by the club to play for the Barbarians.

Tomkins, whose elder brother Joel recently switched codes and joined English Premier League champions Saracens, will join up with players from 10 different countries in a side being coached by All Blacks World Cup winning handler Graham Henry.

"We are delighted that Sam, with the support of the coaches and management at Wigan, has accepted this opportunity to play in such a high-profile union match," said Barbarians commercial director Mike Burton.

"In recent years the likes of Mat Rogers, Lote Tuqiri, Wendell Sailor and, a few months ago, Willie Mason, have all made a mark when playing for us on the big stage. We are confident that Sam will be equal to the challenge this week."

Tomkins, who played for England in Saturday's 30-8 defeat by Australia in the Four Nations final, does not have any commitments with Wigan until returning for pre-season training.

"The Wigan club and Sam are very pleased to accept the Barbarians' invitation," said Ian Lenagan, chairman and owner of the Warriors.

"Sam is an exceptional player in either code of rugby and his selection shows the growing mutual respect between the codes of rugby league and rugby union in England.

"It's a great opportunity for Sam to experience the Twickenham atmosphere and showcase his talents on another major stage."

Barbarians squad:

Sam Tomkins (England RL), Bryan Habana (South Africa), Isaia Toeava (New Zealand), Robbie Fruean (Crusaders/NZL), Stirling Mortlock (Australia), Richard Kahui (New Zealand), Seru Rabeni (Fiji), Danny Cipriani (England), Peter Stringer (Ireland), Nemia Kenatale (Fiji), Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), Adriaan Strauss (South Africa), Salvatore Perugini (Italy), Sylvain Marconnet (France), Eusebio Guinazu (Argentina), Victor Matfield (South Africa), Simon Shaw (England), Marco Bortolami (Italy), Jason White (Scotland), Jerome Kaino (New Zealand), Adam Thomson (New Zealand), Mauro Bergamasco (Italy).

Read more on:    barbarians rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How will the Springboks fare in their three end of year tour Tests against England, Italy and Wales?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.