Super League Grand Final 2021: Joel Tomkins of Catalans Dragons enjoy it region’s

Super League Grand Final 2021: Joel Tomkins of Catalans Dragons enjoy it region’s

Catalans fans turned around out in force for the Dragons’ Super League semi-final against Hull KR

Grow up in the north-west of England, Joel Tomkins was used to rugby league have a strong presence in the areas towns and villages.

However, it has come as something of a surprise for the Wigan native just how the sport is embedded a lot in the communities around him current home in Perpignan – as highlighted by the scenes in the Super League of Catalans Dragons semi-final win.

sales-out crowd of almost 13,000 in Stade Gilbert Brutus for last Thursday 28-10 win over Hull Kingston Rovers created an atmosphere die dragons forward Tomkins believed that rivaled met each final he had played in throughout his career.

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With the French club now just days away from a first Grand Final appearance, the 34-year-old has no illusions over what it would mean for both Catalans home city and wider region if they won the title at Old Trafford.

“I was surprised by the [semi-final] turnout and atmosphere, but I think so shows the appetite is there for rugby league in this region”Tomkins, who will return to the north-west with Leigh Centurions in 2022, said.

“In every city and every village they have a rugby league club and it looks a lot like the north-west of England. There is a huge appetite for it and hopefully the club can wear on building.

“[Winning the Super League Grand Final] would be massive. There is such an appetite for rugby league, and I think this is what the area needs.

Catalan Dragons received a hero's welcome in Perpignan ahead of their Super League semi-final with    Hull KR.

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Catalan Dragons received a hero’s welcome in Perpignan ahead of their Super League semi-final with Hull KR.

Catalan Dragons received a hero’s welcome in Perpignan ahead of their Super League semi-final with Hull KR.

“There is the potential of Toulouse participates in Super League and rugby league in France is in a beautiful good place right now, so it would be great for the region if we could get one trophy.”

A man who has played an important role role in Catalans transform in real title contenders and, by extension, help to unlock some of the potential that the 13-man code has in the French heart is that of the Super League coach of the year Steve McNamara.

The former Bradford Bulls and England head coach was at the helm when the Dragons first great triumph by lifting the Challenge Cup in 2018 and guided them within 80 minutes of the be first overseas side to claim the Super League title.

Tomkins, who joined younger brother and newly crowned Man of Steel Sam in Perpignan on the start of last year, believe that big part of their rise has been McNamara’s man management skills, by with the coherence in the group what he has seen times of success during his career in both league and union.

[Winning the Super League Grand Final] would be massive. There is such an appetite for rugby league, and I think this is what the area needs.

Catalans forward Joel Tomkins

“The way Steve does that, he’s pretty lazy back in a lot of manners and treats us like adults,” Tomkins said.

“He’s Not The Kind” of man to tell you not to do certain things on your day off and he trusts people to make it right decisions and the right choices away from the club.

“Of die togetherness, I think we… just lucky in the group of guys we have. sometimes you are lucky have one group who just to get on and respect each other professionally and personally, and I’ve had it a few of times in My career.

“A few of seasons at Wigan and Saracens, I felt we had that similar feeling and it’s kind of of feel here.”

Steve McNamara was called coach of    the year after guiding Catalans to a maiden Grand Final

Steve McNamara was called coach of the year after guiding Catalans to a maiden Grand Final

Although Saturday night showdown with back-until-back champions Saint Helens is the first time the dragons as one team will have kicked out on the Old Trafford pitch award for Glory, there are plenty of individuals who know what it takes to succeed in this games.

The brothers Tomkins, Gil Dudson, Tom Davies and Michael McIlorum have all been there and done it with Wigan Warriors, while James Maloney is a two-time NRL Grand Final champion of his spells with Sydney roosters and Cronulla sharks.

In addition, the 2018 Challenge Cup winners are Yaha, Samisoni Langi, Josh Drinkwater, Julian Bousquet, Mickael Goudemand and captain Ben Garcia, and Tomkins hope so experience can have a calming effect on a day when emotions run high.

“A lot of it’s alright down to which? team plays the game you intend,’ said Tomkins teams will have one game-plan to go in game, but you see sometimes with teams it’s alright out the window and the emotion of the whole event takes over.

Although we didn’t won a big final, we have some guys in the club who to have experience…so hopefully we can have some influence and try to keep a cool head.

Catalans forward Joel Tomkins

“Although We Didn’t” won a big final, we have some guys in the club who to have experience. Jimmy Maloney has won some stuff in the NRL and we have a few guys who to have won some stuff at Wigan, so hopefully we can have some influence and try to keep a cool head.

“Which first 20 minutes and the first half will be an emotional time but you have just you gotta stick to you game-plan and try to impose your will on the other team.”

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