Tomkins set for Catalans switch as impending Wigan exit confirmed

Sam Tomkins is set to join Catalans Dragons after Wigan Warriors confirmed the full-back will depart the DW Stadium for a second time at the end of the season.

Tomkins returned to Wigan ahead of the 2016 Super League campaign, after spending two years in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors.

However, the 29-year-old is now set to move on again, after he rejected the offer of a new four-year deal with Shaun Wane's side.

In an official club statement, Wigan confirmed Tomkins - heavily linked to struggling Catalans in recent weeks - had "told us that the opportunity for him and his family to experience a different culture and lifestyle and to see his kids speaking another language was something that really appealed to him."

Kris Radlinski, the Warriors' executive director, said: "Wigan had an option on Sam's contract to keep him as one of our marquee players for 2019. After a great deal of consideration, taking all of the factors into account and following an open and honest conversation with Sam, the club felt that the option salary set when Sam returned from New Zealand was too high and opted instead to offer a substantial new four-year deal in its place.

"This new deal was still one of the top three contracts that the club has offered anyone in the past 10 years and was as a marquee player still. [Sam] said he wasn't expecting the Wigan offer to be as good as it was and that had made the decision even more difficult.

"In situations like this, there is nothing that the club can do other than be generous, fair and wish the player well."

Wigan appeared to hit out at Catalans for their pursuit of 2012 Man of Steel Tomkins, who will join former team-mate Micky McIlorum in Perpignan should his move to the Dragons be confirmed.

"It came as a surprise to us that another club had engaged with Sam so early in the year when the deadline for approaching a player under contract is at the end of April," Radlinski added.

"We have made our feelings known about this to the club involved."

Former Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers full-back Zak Hardaker, currently serving a doping ban, is expected to join Wigan for the 2019 season and cover the departure of Tomkins.

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