Following his very own video nasty which emerged last week, Joel Tomkins’ move to Hull KR happened very quickly. Handed a four week suspension and a £10,000 fine on the 3rd of June, only a week later his move to Hull KR was confirmed and, due to the fact his ban was club-imposed, he is free to play immediately and is set to make his debut this weekend against Castleford.
Some may view that as not quite right given that, to all intents and purposes, his actions brought the competition of Super League, the sport as a whole and the club of Wigan Warriors into disrepute. Personally, I was surprised that the governing body themselves didn’t issue a ban to him on those grounds. Nevertheless, Wigan were praised for their quick actions once the video emerged.
However, having seen Tomkins now agree terms with Hull KR, the Warriors moved fast to bring in former St Helens forward Joe Greenwood as a replacement. Joining the 2016 Super League winners with immediate effect, the former Gold Coast Titans forward’s arrival is something of a coup for Wigan as a clutch of other Super League clubs were reportedly interested.
What has concerned many, however, is the fact that the 25-year-old has arrived so quickly after the Tomkins shemozzle emerged, leaving many pondering this: once the club suspended Tomkins, was their intention always to bring someone else in immediately before letting their second-rower leave? That is what this smacks of so, instead of taking the moral high ground, punishing the player before welcoming him back into the fold, they have essentially just completed a transfer – had Tomkins left at the end of the season and Greenwood joined then, nobody would have really batted an eyelid.
However, now, fans are painting Wigan as an organisation in a bit of a mess, both on the field and off it. What isn’t in doubt is Tomkins’ quality as a player. If they can get him focused on his rugby, Hull KR have a superb player on their hands.