Tomkins: “There is always going to be a risk of people contracting it and day-to-day life has to go on. I think there should be more restrictions on players and that should come from the top”
Last Updated: 02/09/20 11:10am
Sam Tomkins believes restrictions on Super League players should be increased following the recent positive coronavirus tests across clubs in the competition.
The full-back and his Catalans Dragons team-mates are in their second week of self-isolation following three players and one member of staff at the French club returning positive tests, causing their matches against Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos to be postponed.
It was confirmed late on Tuesday that two Wakefield Trinity players had tested positive as well, and Tomkins believes Super League and the RFL should adopt stricter protocols for players, along the lines of those in place in the NRL in Australia.
“There is always going to be a risk of people contracting it and day-to-day life has to go on,” Tomkins told the Golden Point Vodcast. “I think there should be more restrictions on players and that should come from the top.
“If you look at the blueprint the NRL have got…they fill out an online wellness report the same as we do every single morning, but they basically get told if you’re not at training or a game then you’re at home.
“If you have to go out to pick up food, you can, but that’s it and you log everywhere you’ve been, and there are heavy sanctions for people who don’t comply to that. As players, I think we’ve probably got to sacrifice a little bit more because we all want the same thing.
“We want Super League to continue, we want a Grand Final, we want the Challenge Cup to be played, we want everyone to stay in jobs…and I think sacrifices from players have to be upped.”
We want Super League to continue, we want a Grand Final, we want the Challenge Cup to be played, we want everyone to stay in jobs…and I think sacrifices from players have to be upped.
The Catalans squad spent four months under strict lockdown in France while the season was suspended, although they were able to return to training earlier than their Super League counterparts in the UK due to their national restrictions to combat the pandemic being eased sooner.
Tomkins admits it is frustrating to have to go through this again for another fortnight but is being kept occupied by his children when he is not training at home.
“My kids love lockdown because they just get dad at home all day,” Tomkins said. “We have about 15 games of football in the garden every day, we do swimming lessons and schoolwork – it’s a lot more tiring than going training, I can promise you that!
“In such a long lockdown, there was a big list of things to do around the house and certain jobs that wanted to get sorted, but all that got done over the four months we were locked up first time. This time it’s doing what training I can in the garden and looking after the kids.”
Extra frustration comes from the fact Tomkins has endured something of a stop-start month since Super League returned to action at the start of August, missing Catalans’ first game due to serving a ban and then picking up another for a Grade A trip in the league win over Wakefield.
However, he is optimistic of hitting the ground running when the Dragons return to action against his former club Wigan at Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan on Saturday, September 12.
“It’s really frustrating,” Tomkins said. “Obviously it’s been very stop-start and then not helping myself by picking up a couple of bans.
“In rugby, you want to get into some rhythm and as a team I think we’re hitting a decent rhythm, but personally my games have been few and far between.
“I’m looking forward to being back playing in a couple of weeks’ time – changing my tackle technique and not getting any bans! – and hopefully being back in some decent form.”