England captain Sam Tomkins has revealed that he may not return to England, even after retiring, referring to his new home in Perpignan as “an amazing place to live”.
Talking about his career so far on ‘The Big Jim Show’ podcast, Tomkins revealed that his time at the New Zealand Warriors allowed him and his family to realise they were comfortable living away from Wigan.
Despite going back to Wigan Warriors after his stint overseas, he explains that the initial move to Catalans Dragons was fuelled by a desire to try something different but also not be too far away from home.
He said: “My wife is from Wigan as well so we haven’t really experienced anything else, but when we went to New Zealand we loved it,” he said.
“We didn’t really enjoy quite as much living back in the area (of Wigan). We wanted that feeling again of doing something different.
“When the opportunity came to go to Catalans Dragons it just felt like a really good fit because it’s not New Zealand, it’s not 24 hours on a plane.
“It’s almost like living down south,” Tomkins jokes as he compares the three hour flight to the three hour drive his brother, Joel, had to make when visiting home during his time with rugby union club Saracens.
Speaking on his new home in southern France, the two-time Man of Steel details how they (him and his wife) had bought a house in Perpignan with the intention of it serving as a holiday home long term, before explaining that doesn’t look likely any time soon with his family completely settled.
“Six months into the renovation we said ‘let’s not do it up as a holiday home, let’s get a better kitchen’ and basically things started changing and we realised we might be here a bit longer.
“It was almost like neither of us wanted to say ‘shall we just stay in France forever?'” Tomkins recalls, before making the revelation that “we could live here forever. I’ve been there for four years now and we’ve no plans to come back. It’s just an amazing place to live.”
Tomkins also revealed that his children are now fluent in French and that ‘they think it’s normal for everyone to have a swimming pool in their back garden’.
The 2023 season with be the England skippers fifth in Perpignan, having joined the club in 2019. He has gone on to make 82 appearances, posting an impressive 380 points, becoming a fan’s favourite at the Stade Gilbert Brutus.