11th October 2018, 11:55 | Wigan
The 29-year-old England international ended his first spell at his hometown club with a Super League title, courtesy of a 30-16 win over Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford in 2013.
Tomkins went to try his hand in the NRL after that game but spent only two seasons away from Wigan and, five years on, Warrington once again stand between him and glory.
“I’ll save all the emotion for after the game,” said Tomkins, who will join Catalans Dragons on a three-year contract at the end of the season.
😍🏉 WHAT. A. TRY.@samtomkins1 slides over to score @WiganWarriorsRL second try vs @CTRLFC and the DW goes wild!— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) October 8, 2018
Watch back the highlights from last week's Semi-Final win here on @WiganWarriorsTV ➡️ https://t.co/aUYc2SByW8 pic.twitter.com/AQeIHZgoiM
“It is a little bit different this time. In 2013 when I left with a Grand Final ring, I wasn’t sure if I’d play for Wigan again.
“It turns out I have but I know this will be my last game in a Wigan jersey.
“There’s a very slim chance I’d ever wear a Wigan jersey again so it’s important for me to hopefully bow out as a winner.”
Tomkins’ team-mates John Bateman and Ryan Sutton will echo those sentiments as they prepare to make the move to the NRL with Canberra, while long-serving coach Shaun Wane is also leaving the Warriors after a 30-year link.
Leeds Rhinos gave coach Tony Smith a winning send-off in the 2007 Grand Final and also triumphed at Old Trafford to provide fitting farewells to Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock, Kylie Leuluai, Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow.
But Tomkins, who was also a winner against St Helens in 2010, is no romantic and does not believe victory on Saturday is written in the stars.
“It would be nice if that was the case but I don’t believe in all that romantic stuff to be honest,” he said.
“You win trophies through hard work and Leeds didn’t win those trophies because players were leaving, they won because they worked really hard and deserved it,
“It’s the same on Saturday, we’ll not be thinking it’s written in the stars or it’s fate, we know we’ve just got to work hard for 80 minutes and hopefully get a win.”
Wigan will go into the game as clear favourites after putting together a nine-match winning run but Tomkins is wary of a Warrington team that put out league leaders St Helens in the semi-finals.
Last time we went to Old Trafford this happened...— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) October 11, 2018
Who fancies it on Saturday? 🍒⚪️ pic.twitter.com/vdEJe3CvFt
“We’re confident but we’re not over confident because we watched Warrington a few days ago against St Helens and they were really impressive,” he said.
“We know the challenge on Saturday. All season Warrington have got on with their business really well,
“I think all the hype around St Helens probably helped other teams. There was so much focus on how well St Helens were doing in the league, other teams like Warrington, Castleford and ourselves sat under the radar a bit and could get on with our business, I think it worked in everybody’s favour.
“We’ve won however many games on the trot but, if we lose this one, none of them matter.”