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16th March 2019, 12:56 | super_league

Sam Tomkins talks up brother Joel

Sam Tomkins talks up brother Joel

Sam Tomkins has extolled the leadership virtues of brother Joel as he prepares to go up against him for the first time.

The siblings were team-mates at Wigan Warriors for the best part of a decade but are now separated by the English Channel, with Sam at Catalans Dragons and Joel playing for Hull KR.

Sam missed out on a reunion with younger brother Logan when he was left out of the Salford Red Devils team that won in Perpignan last Saturday but will face his older sibling in Sunday’s Betfred Super League clash at KCOM Craven Park.

“A while ago, I didn’t think I’d play against either of my brothers when we were all at Wigan,” said Sam. “Now we’re at different teams and I’m looking forward to it actually.

“Me and Joel speak pretty much every day but not really about rugby so we haven’t spoken about the game, I’ll catch up with him while I’m over at the weekend.”

Joel signed a new three-year contract at Rovers in November which takes him to the end of 2021 and was voted in as the club’s new captain ahead of the 2019 season.

“It’s turned out to be quite a good move for Joel,” said Sam. “I know he’s really enjoying his rugby and enjoying being part of the set-up there.

“He’s taken confidence from the players and the staff to vote him in as captain. Joel is a natural leader anyway, he’s well suited to be a captain.

“Obviously I’ve trained and played with Joel for a long, long time so I know exactly how he is and he was an obvious choice. He’s been in the senior group at Wigan for a long, long time as well, so he’s had plenty of practice.”

While Hull KR go into Sunday’s game on the back of an impressive win at Wakefield Trinity, the Catalans are reeling from a crushing 46-0 defeat by the Red Devils which coach Steve McNamara described as embarrassing and humiliating.

“We were very off in every area,” Tomkins said. “We started the game poorly and we couldn’t get it back.

“It was probably the most disappointing loss I’ve been a part of while I’ve been playing because of the manner in which we lost.

“All the players understand that’s well below the standard this club deserves, at home in front of our own people.

“We’ve had some serious meetings this week and trained really hard to make sure we don’t get a repeat of that, not only this week but ever again.”

In Sunday’s other game, Salford will look to follow up their Perpignan success with an away win over third-placed Castleford Tigers.

“I think they’ve been a good side for a while now and a much better one since they started signing with a bit more stability in mind,” said Castleford coach Daryl Powell.