New Zealand Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins has been granted an early release from his contract, according to the NRL club.
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Warriors managing director Jim Doyle said the club had “reluctantly” agreed to let the 26-year-old return to England as he struggled to settle into life in Auckland.
Doyle said that while Tomkins was enjoying his time at the Warriors, he found the challenge of being away from England too much to handle.
“He came here excited about testing himself in the NRL and also experiencing living in a new country but, in the end, Sam has found it too much of a challenge being away from home,” Doyle is quoted as saying in a Warriors statement.
“While we have talked with him and tried to work through it he has now come back to us to ask for a release at the end of the season.
“It’s disappointing that it has come to this but reluctantly we have accepted there is no option but to allow Sam to return to England.
“For now, though, he is determined to finish his time with the Warriors in the best way he can. He’s working to recover from his knee injury as soon as possible so he can regain his spot in the team.”
Tomkins thanked the Warriors for their understanding and said he enjoyed his time at the New Zealand club.
“I never imagined it would reach this point,” he said.
“This is a great club and I can’t say enough about the coaching staff. I love being with the lads and it’s a brilliant country to live in but I can only be honest and say I miss home in ways I never thought I would.
“I’m truly grateful to the Vodafone Warriors for agreeing to give me an early release and I am so determined to repay them for their consideration. All I want now is to get back out on the field to help us have a great season.”
Tomkins joined the Warriors from Wigan in 2014 and has since made 25 appearances for the club.
It’s been widely tipped that the back will rejoin Wigan for the 2016 Super League season.