Sam Tomkins says the pressure of being the Warriors’ big-money NRL signing won’t affect him and neither will his big reputation in the Super League.
Warriors star Sam Tomkins claims he’s no poster boy for the English Super League and is unconcerned about doubts he’ll struggle to match the success he had with Wigan in the NRL.
The England fullback endured a mixed debut for the Warriors against Parramatta last Sunday with his new team slumping to a 36-16 defeat to a side that have finished bottom of the ladder for the last two years.
The 24-year-old set up two tries but was at fault for a Semi Radradra four-pointer in the second half when he lost control of a high bomb, allowing the winger to touch down to complete his hat-trick.
Despite that early setback, which has once again put coach Matthew Elliott’s future under the microscope, Tomkins enjoyed his first game but said the team will lose to St George Illawarra on Saturday if they don’t improve.
“It was a tough game which we fully expected, but we are long way off where we should be,” Tomkins told AAP.
“It was good and I enjoyed the intensity but it was not the best way to start and we need to take what we can out of it and move on.
“Hopefully playing at home against the Dragons we will be a lot better otherwise it could be another long day.”
Tomkins was by far the biggest name in English rugby league and his record of 144 tries in 151 games for his hometown club earned him a big money switch to New Zealand for a reported transfer fee of $1.2 million.
He recently claimed there was a lack of respect for the Super League in the southern Hemisphere and felt Australians wanted him to fail.
However, he insists he’s not here to prove anything about the game in his homeland or change perceptions.
“That just how it is, people over here don’t give Super League any credit. There’s not much I can do about that,” he said.
“But I am not going to fight its corner or tell everyone how great it is. If you ask other players who have played in both they will give a better idea of the standard.
“It would be nice to be successful here but there is a long way to go before people can say if I am or not a success. It really is a week by week thing at the moment.”
His decision to choose the Warriors over some of Sydney’s glamour clubs allows him to avoid the goldfish bowl environment that is a factor in international teammate Sam Burgess’ decision to return to the UK to play rugby next year.
But Tomkins is fully aware that there’s big expectations on his shoulders given the size of the fee and his reputation.
“I think there is pressure on every player to perform, but it’s not a problem,” he said.
“I put pressure on myself to keep my standards high and put 100 per cent in every game. That won’t change regardless of what people say about me.
“Sam Burgess came over here and proved he is one of the best players in the world, I take that as inspiration.”