Why Sam Tomkins was taken off by Shaun Wane as England battle France

It is often surprising when a coach takes off his captain but sometimes it makes sense.

For instance if your skipper is a prop or a hooker, it is perhaps foreseen but when your captain is a fullback, it is a bit of a surprise.

So, it’s easy to understand why some fans were confused by the withdrawal of skipper Sam Tomkins at halftime of the game against France.

Especially seen as though there seems to be no injury concern for the Catalans Dragons sat.

Thus, the question is why was he taken off during England’s clash against France with just six points between the two.

Well, it seems the decision was pre-planned with Jack Welsby on the bench.

I said on Thursday that, with Marc Sneyd confirmed as playing by Wane, that Welsby would start at fullback and Tomkins, who has been hit with a number concerns this season, would be given a rest to maintain his fitness.

Furthermore, with just one fullback in the squad, seeing Welsby as a stand-off as his shirt number suggests, it makes a lot of sense to play with Welsby at fullback for one group game to get the team used to different at fullback.

So, the decision to bring him on midway through the game makes sense to give the team the experience of playing with a different fullback.

Perhaps that’s why they also started with Williams and Sneyd alongside Tomkins in order to get another spine playing together.

Tomkins has now come back on with Salford centre Kallum Watkins sadly knocked out and a stretcher nearly needed.

It will see Welsby move to centre. Watkins will not be allowed to play against Greece and Kai Pearce-Paul could debut at centre.

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