Logan Tomkins Shares With Us His Career Which Has Led To His Joining Salford
Most professional players, in any sport, will tell you that it has always been their ambition to play for a particular team, or achieve a certain standard, since their early childhood, but for Logan Tomkins and rugby league nothing could be further from the truth; he absolutely hated it!
Well, probably you would have done too, if your earliest experiences of it had been standing out in the freezing cold, or pouring rain, every Sunday morning throughout the winter, having to watch your two older brothers – in his case, Joel and Sam – performing with their respective age groups, at their local club, Chorley Panthers.
So intense was his dislike of everything to do with the sport, it was only thanks to the enticement of a weekly chocolate bar from his grandfather, on his mother’s side, that he would go at all, and that had to be raised to the gift of a pocket torch on a chain to get him to go along to Central Park for the first time, for a full match.
Yet, despite all his objections, with two such talented lads within it, rugby league was quite central to the whole family, even to the extent that they all moved to Wigan, when he was aged five, because the older pair had been spotted by the Warriors, who wished for them to continue their development with Wigan St Pat’s.
Spending so much of his formative years in the game’s environment, it is remarkable that he was able to resist it for as long as he did, but eventually, when his mother eased him into playing alongside others of his own age, he did succumb, and lo and behold, found he liked it, and, from that point on, he was absolutely hooked.
In the end, he stayed with St Pat’s for eight years, during which time they had notable successes, most significantly, at U16s level, when they won the National Cup, defeating near neighbours, Wigan St Jude’s in the final. On a personal level, he accrued a collection of individual awards, through the years, including Top Tackler of the Season, Most Improved Player, and eventually, Player of the Year.
Throughout his time there, all the players had to become used to visits by Wigan scouts watching them. So frequently did this happen that they all became quite adept at recognising the cars of each individual, including Head Coach, Dean Bell. As can be imagined this was most nerve-wracking for them all, and certainly it added a lot of pressure on them when anyone from the Warriors was in attendance.
Logan never claims to have had an abundance of skills or talent. Indeed, he is most modest in this direction, and admits to having been quite over-awed at the talent he was lining up alongside, when he first joined the Wigan Scholarship.
“I just knew I had to concentrate on my fitness level, and improving my work-rate, in order to get noticed through those,” was his most sensible assessment of the whole scenario.
The step up to the Academy, when it came, proved most incredibly challenging, mixing, as it does, younger lads with players up to three years older than themselves, and, in common with many others, Logan found this most daunting.
“Wigan is a very intense club, and they want everything done right,” he explains, “and in some respects it was almost like having to relearn everything we’d been taught before.”
In addition to that, the Warriors are never shy at promoting their up and coming talent, and, as part of his development, he was sent out on loan to Widnes, along with team-mates, Dom Crosby and Joe Mellor. The Vikings, at that time, were still in the Championship, so a home fixture with Batley turned out to be his first match, there, with both his brothers cheering him on from the stand.
By some coincidental quirk of fate, his Super League debut, the following year, was once again on that artificial pitch, against the newly promoted Vikings, which saw Logan coming off the bench to replace Michael McIlorum, at hooker.
“It was an absolutely great occasion for me,” he recalls. “They presented me with my shirt before the game, and then a round of applause at the end, which they do for all debutants. It all made me feel really valued, and not just filling in.”
Far from ‘just filling in’, Logan went on to play a total of forty-seven games for Wigan, including the 2013 Challenge Cup Final v Hull.
In Part 2, Logan Continues To Outline His Career, Including That 2013 Challenge Cup Appearance