England are in a Rugby League World Cup quarter-final and are 80 minutes away from a return to the final as they hope to right the wrongs of 2017.
There was no Sam Tomkins that day, one of Super League’s greatest ever players and a two-time Man of Steel winner, and he’s now captain of the side.
Tomkins’ career has run parallel to that of England boss Shaun Wane. Wane was involved with the young players at Wigan Warriors as Tomkins developed and as Tomkins became the star man at the DW Stadium, Wane took the reigns as Wigan Head Coach.
Even their ultimate departures – aside from Tomkins’ brief stint in the NRL – from Wigan came at the same time as Super League Champions in 2018.
They were at the heart of one of Super League’s greatest ever teams and now they are captain and coach of England as they chase World Cup glory.
Speaking on the High Performance Podcast, Tomkins spoke about what he believes creates high performance.
In the mind of the England skipper, it is the one percents that makes a brilliant player and gave insight into that attitude in teams throughout his career and specifically with Shaun Wane.
He said: “It’s the one percents, people that other people won’t notice, do them the best.
“So, in rugby terms, people score amazing tries and come up with big tackles but there’s a hundred things that the average spectator wouldn’t see: someone working, when the ball’s away, working an extra three metres to cover a little bit of space in case the ball comes back.
“These are what we call one percent efforts and they’d be highlighted after a game, and be held in much higher regard than a try or a tackle.
“We’d do a video review and we’d see the general things, whatever went well or bad in the game and at the end he’d say ‘right one percent efforts’ and then we’d see and it might be someone who doesn’t get the accolades the deserve or their name isn’t in the papers and they’re a player that you need in a team, they do the one percenters right and that amongst the group was more valued.
“It was the tiny little details. Shaun Wane says it all the time: anything you do is everything you do and getting all those little things right makes it easier to get those fancier tries.”