Sam Tomkins reveals ‘shock’ at Michael McIlorum’s intended plans after retirement

Sam Tomkins has revealed that his Catalans Dragons teammate Michael McIlorum intends to stay in France after his retirement whilst discussing his life in Perpignan.

Tomkins explains that McIlorum lives very close to him in Perpignan and notes how they’ve both managed to find themselves in southern France having played in the youth academy at Wigan 15 years ago.

“He went over 12 months before me and he’s staying, he’s got a house down the road and that’s someone I’ve grown up with since being 15,” Tomkins told former Scotland Rugby player Jim Hamilton on his podcast.

The reigning Man of Steel had earlier commented on the unknowns of moving to France in regard to how other English players have fit in.

“When people go to France it’s difficult to tell who will like it and who won’t,” Tomkins explained. “I’ve spoke to people that have had contract offers from the Dragons and they say ‘do you think I’ll like it’ and I say I do, but I’ve also got friends that don’t’.”

Tomkins elaborated on this by explaining how it is difficult to predict who will take to the French lifestyle, using McIlorum as the example, admitting his surprise at his long-time friend’s love of Perpignan, revealing he intents on staying long term.

“I wouldn’t have picked that he (McIlorum) would want to stay but I suppose once you get there it’s a case of throwing yourself in.

Tomkins went on to emphasis “some decide they like it and some don’t,” while declaring that McIlorum intends to stay in Perpignan following his retirement, which is predicted to be at the end of the 2023 season.

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