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Super League star Sam Tomkins joins NRL Warriors for record fee

Sam Tomkins. NRL.COM Photo
English rugby league star Sam Tomkins is on his way to the Warriors after what is believed to be a world record transfer fee.

The Warriors have paid Wigan a transfer fee thought to be about STG700,000 ($A1.20 million) for a three-year deal, the two teams announced overnight.

It is thought the 24-year-old fullback will be the highest-paid English player in the game with a salary near STG400,000 ($A685,000).

As part of the deal with the Warriors, Wigan have secured the right to re-sign Tomkins when he completes his commitments in Auckland and the player says he has no intention of playing for another Super League club.

Tomkins is considered one of the premier attacking players in the game, boasting a remarkable 144 tries in 150 appearances for Wigan.

He said the time was right to make a move to the NRL, joining the likes of South Sydney's Sam Burgess and Canterbury prop James Graham as current England internationals to have made the switch.

"It's something I'm glad to get out," said Tomkins, who has been rumoured to be heading to the Warriors for months.

"For me this is about taking another step up in my career by testing myself in the NRL. It has always been a goal of mine and now it's going to happen."

Tomkins said he spoke to a few NRL clubs but the Warriors struck him as a club that had a lot of similarities to Wigan.

Warriors coach Matthew Elliott said Tomkins would be a huge boost to the team.

"Sam's an exciting addition to our squad, a world-class player who supports the direction we want to go in with this club," he said.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane expects Tomkins to be a big hit in the NRL.

"New Zealand Warriors have got a great player and a real good guy off the field. He's very honest and forthright with his views. He'll drive the culture over there and they will benefit from having Sam Tomkins in their team," he said.

Wigan have signed North Queensland Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen, 31, as a straight replacement on a 12-month contract, with an option for a second season, depending on how he copes with a long-standing knee injury.

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