Tomkins 'concentrating on Wigan'
Wigan star Sam Tomkins insists he is focused only on the job in hand as the build-up to the Challenge Cup final gathers momentum.
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The dynamic full-back carries a significant amount of his side's hopes as they head to Wembley to take on Hull in Saturday's showpiece.
But the much-coveted England international, the current Man of Steel, remains at the centre of attention for different reasons as speculation over his future refuses to subside.
Tomkins, 24, has been linked with a move to New Zealand Warriors for much of the season and the lack of a categoric confirmation or denial from any party over the matter has kept it simmering.
The situation was much the same as Tomkins spoke to journalists at considerable length at this week's Challenge Cup final media day.
"I'm going to give the same answer I'll be giving to every reporter," he said.
"I am concentrating on Wigan, I have not signed any contracts.
"I am looking forward to Wembley, then hopefully going to a Grand Final and playing the World Cup at the end of the year.
"I have got a lot on my plate, so I have nothing to tell you."
With that issue out of the way - for another day at least - Tomkins could not hide his excitement for the week ahead.
None of the speculation has affected Tomkins' performances, with 33 tries notched in all competitions this season.
Such is his influence that he is sorely missed when absent, the Warriors having won only three of the last 12 games in which he has not participated.
That statistic has been a concern ahead of the final with Tomkins in and out of fitness over the past month and Wigan's form fluctuating with him.
The League Leaders' Shield, for the side finishing top of Super League, has slipped from their grasp after a run of just two wins from seven in that competition.
Cup performances amid that sequence have masked its seriousness but Tomkins returned in last week's loss at Catalan Dragons and is ready for this week's occasion.
He said: "It's been a frustrating few weeks having to miss out to injury but getting 80 minutes under my belt in the horrible heat of Perpignan was good.
"Everything came through fine and it's good to be 100 per cent fit again.
"It's a special week building up to Saturday and I'm looking forward to it.
"There is a buzz round the team, we are confident.
"We have not played brilliantly lately, we have lost a few games, but we are not third in the league and in the Challenge Cup final for nothing.
"People are speaking as if we are in crisis mode but to be in the position we are at this stage is nice."
Wembley is the perfect stage for a player of the talent of Tomkins to further enhance his reputation.
He was a member of the Wigan side that beat Leeds in the 2011 final but he made headlines for the wrong reasons that day after being photographed making an offensive gesture to fans.
Tomkins said: "It was a moment of madness - a bit of a rush to my head, a mistake.
"We all make mistakes but when I look back at the 2011 Challenge Cup that's not what I'll be thinking about.
"I'll be thinking about lifting that trophy and the few days that followed."
One Tomkins did make his mark on that occasion, however, as brother Joel - who has since switched to rugby union - scored one of the great cup final tries.
Sam said: "Joel doesn't really mention it, he wouldn't bring up a try that he scored.
"But I have seen it pretty recently. It is one that will go down in highlight reels for years to come, and so it should."
The sense of occasion is not lost on Tomkins, who regards another Wembley appearance as special.
"I know the importance of the cup," said Tomkins, who has a tattoo on his right ankle to commemorate the 2011 win.
"You can't get away from that being a kid in Wigan, knowing the importance of not only rugby but bringing silverware to a famous club.
"2011 was massive for us, and a day I will certainly never forget.
"I just can't wait to get out there and put in a good performance to give ourselves the best chance of winning a trophy again."