For many rugby league fan this will hardly come as a surprise but today it was officially announced that Wigan Warriors full-back star, Sam Tomkins, will join the New Zealand Warriors for the 2014 NRL season.
Swapping England for New Zealand in a record fee eclipsing the current £450,000 set in 2006, Tomkins will remain a Warrior in name at least and the southern hemisphere side certainly know they are getting one of the world’s most sought after players.
Having made a name for himself at both club and international level, Tomkins is the reigning Super League’s Man of Steel and in 2012 surpassed a career total of 500 Super League points. Last year also saw him become England’s all time rugby league record try scorer, a feat which the 24 year old is only going to extend as he continues to set the rugby world ablaze.
With the Rugby League World Cup beginning at the end of October and the NRL not starting until February, Tomkins will be looking to settle in amongst his new team in time for the new season as the Warriors look to build on a rather disappointing campaign by their standards having finished 11th last season.
Whilst a switch to the union code had been mentioned, Tomkins has agreed a three year deal and will join Wigan prop Lee Mossop, Warrington forward Mike Cooper and Leeds Rhinos teenagers Jordan Baldwinson and Mason Tonks, among those heading Down Under.
Having already claimed the Challenge Cup with Wigan this season, Tomkins will now be looking to sign off the Super League in style as his side face Leeds in the semi-finals this Friday before the possibility of closing playing at Old Trafford in the Grand Final on the 5th October.
To help fill the space left by Tomkin’s departure, it has also been announced that Matthew Bowen will be arriving from North Queensland Cowboys for the 2014 Super League season.
We look forward to Sam taking his X Blades Sniper ST Bionic rugby boots with him and hope to see his colourful footwear lighting up the NRL.
For those who want to find out a little more about the man who is now the most expensive player in rugby league history, check out the video below.