Why Tomkins left Saracens

Date published: September 4 2014

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Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has revealed the process which led to centre Joel Tomkins exiting the club for a return to Wigan.

Saracens boss Mark McCall revealed the honest process which resulted in outside centre Joel Tomkins leaving rugby union for a return to Wigan.

Tomkins, who won four caps for England during his stint in the fifteen-man game, recently decided to move back to rugby league with the Warriors.

And in a group discussion with The Guardian that saw Harlequins' Conor O'Shea, Saracens' Mark McCall, London Irish's Brian Smith, Wasps' Dai Young and London Welsh's Justin Burnell chew the fat on a number of topics ahead of the Aviva Premiership season, McCall explained the exit.

“We signed Joel Tomkins from league and [converting him] was quite a lengthy process,” said the Saracens director of rugby in the talk.

“He has since made the decision to return.

“He was honest enough to say that when he played his two Tests for England he never felt comfortable and didn't feel he'd ever be as good at union as he was at league. It's a very mature thing to have said and done. But Sonny Bill Williams has succeeded in both codes and maybe Sam Burgess is of that same quality.”

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