Tomkins thrilled with honour
2nd October 2012
Winning the prestigious Man of Steel award cushioned the blow of failing to reach the Stobart Super League Grand Final for Wigan Warriors full-back Sam Tomkins.
The 23-year-old England international, twice a winner of the young player of the year award, received the top prize from Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins at an awards ceremony in Manchester last night.
Tomkins won the award ahead of St Helens hooker James Roby and Warrington Wolves second-row forward Ben Westwood in a secret ballot of his fellow Super League players. Former England captain Jamie Peacock revealed on his Twitter account that Tomkins got his vote.
“It feels a bit surreal,” Tomkins said. “It’s a massive honour. There were some great players nominated. Ben Westwood has been outstanding as James Roby is every single year.
“It was an honour to be nominated and to pick it up is pretty special. You always want to impress your peers and there are some big names who have publicly voted for me.
“When someone of the stature of Jamie Peacock, who is a living legend of the game, says he voted for you it’s humbling.
“I’d swap it for a Grand Final appearance if I’m honest but it makes it a little bit easier.”
Tomkins missed last Friday’s semi-final defeat by Leeds Rhinos with a knee injury sustained in Wigan’s opening play-off win over Catalan Dragons but is confident of recovering in time for England’s autumn internationals against Wales and France.
“It’s not too bad,” Tomkins said of his injury. “I’m working on it at the moment. I want to get it right for the England games.”