Sam Tomkins will forever be remembered as a Wigan Warriors hero.
Two Grand Finals and two Challenge Cup successes in his first stint at the club between 2008 and 2013 etched him into Wigan folklore.
And, in the process, it earned him a deal with the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL.
That deal, however, was cut short when Tomkins left the club, two years into a three-year deal, but an injury sustained in his time Down Under left his Wigan return ‘underwhelming’, according to the man himself.
“I’d done this ligament in my knee, I saw a specialist in New Zealand and the scans came back and I had snapped the PCL ligament in my knee,” Tomkins told the Trot The Egg In podcast.
“The warriors said you can play without that and I just got back to playing, but it was nowhere near right – it didn’t feel the same and I couldn’t really play as I wanted.
“The Warriors knew I was leaving and they wanted to get their money’s worth out of me – I don’t hold a grudge and I would have done the same.”
For Tomkins then, though, it was a harrowing period of time trying to fix his leg.
“I went to an international camp with Steve McNamara, and second day in training my knee buckled on me.
“Wigan sent me to see a specialist and the specialist said my knee was butchered and that I needed a synthetic PCL ligament put in and then a microfracture on the bottom of my femur which is where they make breaks in your legs and let it bleed out and it forms a new sort of coating on the bottom of your leg – it was a tough operation.
“I was in a cast for a long time, my Wigan return was really underwhelming – it wasn’t as I pictured it.”