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Sam Tomkins outlines Super League’s big underachievers

Sam Tomkins working for Sky Sports as a Pundit

Sam Tomkins has argued that fans of both Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves are being overpromised and underdelivered based on each side’s estimated spend.

In the pre-match build-up to Leeds taking on Warrington the Sky Sports team revealed their ‘very-well researched’ estimations for every Super League side’s salary spend in 2024.

Host Brian Carney explained: “We’ve been working the phones, it’s not been easy, we’ve had a lot of calls to make and this is our estimation of the salary spend of all 12 Super League clubs.

“It’s more than I guess, it’s a lot of research come into this believe it or not.”

To no surprise, it was Wigan who topped the chart with an estimated spend of £3.1 million which makes plenty of sense given recent contract extensions handed out to the likes of Abbas Miski, Bevan French, Jai Field, Jake Wardle and Harry Smith to name a few, plus the signings of stars such as Adam Keighran and Luke Thompson.

And with that massive spending has come massive rewards with Wigan lifting the Grand Final last year and becoming World Club Champions earlier this season, however, it’s not all about spending as seen through both Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos.

The Wolves ranked joint-second with an estimated spend of £3 million whilst Leeds had spent £2.7 per the Sky estimations and that has led to Sam Tomkins calling out both clubs as having severely underperformed.

The player-turned-pundit argued: “I think fans of both Leeds and Warrington should expect them to be better than they are. They should be better than they are. They’re spending more than St Helens and they’re spending more than other teams that are more convincing certainly over the last in recent years.

“Leeds haven’t made the top six in the last few years. I think if you’re a fan of either of them clubs and looking at what they spend you’d expect much much more.”

“Starving for trophies” – Sam Tomkins and Jodie Cunningham on Leeds and Warrington’s recent failure

Sam Tomkins

Alongside Sam Tomkins was current England captain Jodie Cunningham and as someone who knows plenty about success and representing a big club, few are better placed to speak on the matter.

Cunningham posited that neither Leeds nor Warrington should even be considered big clubs any longer and the stats strengthen her argument, that Warrington without a playoff victory since 2018 and Leeds haven’t made the top four in the last seven seasons is a damning statistic.

“We talk about Leeds and we talk about Warrington as big clubs, we talk about them in the same breath as Saints and Wigan. The difference is that Saints and Wigan are lifting trophies,” explained Cunningham.

“They’re going to want trophies at both clubs. Warrington have been starving for a long time and Leeds particularly, the top four is what we’re going to want as a bare minimum to give them the best chance of getting to Grand Finals and lifting trophies.”

Both sides will be desperate to make the top six this season given their huge expenditure but that isn’t likely according to Sam Tomkins who has estimated that one of the two sides will miss the six.

He stated: “The reason I don’t think both of these can get in the top six is because Wigan and Saints will be in there. I believe Catalans will as well, along with Hull KR.

“There’s always somebody that will make a run for it, whether it be a Huddersfield or a Salford, and that for me only leaves one more spot, and I think it’ll be one of these two teams.”

Currently, Warrington are the team on top following last night’s 34-8 win whilst Leeds sit in seventh and could drop below Huddersfield should the Giants beat Hull FC by a margin of ten points or more.

Super League Estimated Salary Spend for 2024

Wigan Warriors – £3.1 million
Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves – £3 million
St Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants – £2.7 million
Hull KR – £2.4 million
Leigh Leopards – £2.2 million
Hull FC – £1.8 million
Salford Red Devils & Castleford Tigers  – £1.7 million
London Broncos – £1.4 million

Source: Sky Sports (Figures are an estimate)

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