As the New Zealand Warriors get closer to signing Sam Tomkins from Super League clubs Wigan current Warriors fullback Kevin Locke has said he would be open to a move to five-eighth to accommodate the Wigan youngster.
Locke told The Sunday News “I wouldn’t mind playing a bit of standoff. It’s a key position, like fullback is. You’re up in the line. I wouldn’t mind playing a bit of six but I’m enjoying fullback at the moment. I’ll just work hard there and see where I end up in the future.”
I’ve said before that I don’t believe Sam Tomkins is a fullback at NRL level. I think he would be better suited playing at five-eighth where his running style and footwork could be better utilized and his problems under the high ball would not be exposed as often.
Locke is a very good player for the New Zealand Warriors but has struggled with injuries recently. The Warriors have also had concerns about his off field behaviour and at one point basically gave him “one last chance” to get his act together or face the sack.
While I rate Locke as a player, I just don’t see him as a five-eighth. Locke gives the Warriors a real x factor from the fullback position. His positional sense is great, and his speed, acceleration and footwork makes him dangerous when returning the ball.
I don’t understand why the Warriors would go out to sign another fullback when they have Locke and Glen Fisiiahi on their books. Signing Sam Tomkins would make far more sense if they were looking to get him as a five-eighth.
Still, this is the Warrriors, and they are coached by Matthew Elliott, so I guess anything is possible. I keep hearing that the Warriors are looking to sign both Sam and his brother Logan Tomkins as a package deal. Time will tell if that happens though.
Wigan are making all the noises of a team that is losing their star player at seasons end. They are adamant that Tomkins will move to the NRL. Surely an announcement will be made soon and the Warriors can start to look at their lineup for the 2014 season.