I’m desperate to add the World Cup to my Grand Final and Challenge Cup triumphs… and I can’t wait to beat Australia in the opener at Cardiff
Published: 10:25 BST, 23 October 2013 | Updated: 15:10 BST, 23 October 2013
Before I get started on the World Cup I want to reflect on my final season with Wigan.
Our Grand Final victory, my second, was my last game for Wigan before I head off to the NRL next season and it was a fairytale ending. If I could have written the script for my last season at Wigan there’s no doubt I would have included chapters about Challenge Cup and Grand Final glory.
To score a last-minute try at Wembley and then turn around such a big margin at Old Trafford to beat Warrington was unbelievable. Needless to say we celebrated in style.
Scroll down to watch Rooney’s good luck message and Sam’s training tips
Warming up: Sam Tomkins is looking forward to the World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday
In with a shout: Tomkins says England can beat the favourites, who will have the likes of Greg Inglis (below)
Domestic glory: Tomkins has won the Grand Final (left with the trophy and team-mate Pat Richards) and the Challenge Cup with Wigan this season
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I didn’t have long to relax, though, before I knew it I was on the plane to South Africa for a training camp with the rest of the England boys who had played in the Grand Final where we met the rest of the squad. They’d been out there a week early working very hard.
The spirit in the camp was great when we arrived and remained the same throughout. Training was extremely intense, lots of heavy weights and lots of drills.
And of course the much talked about Burgess Boys joined us from Australia. God they are big, especially George and Tom. They are top lads and we are lucky to have them in our squad. I can’t wait to see the impact they make in the World Cup.
Sam is one of our best players and it’s been too long since he last played for England. I know he’s desperate to get started now.
I was rooming with my Wigan team-mate Josh Charnley. He’s one of my closest friends and we used to share for away games with Wigan. We have a good system; he does my washing and ironing.
As you can imagine with 24 lads there was plenty of banter flying around when we aren’t training. The guys from Wigan, including me, took great delight in winding Warrington’s Ben Westwood up after his punch on Blake Green in the Grand Final.
It was all in good jest but for the first three days we thought we’d ignore him. He’s a great guy and a fantastic professional and took the joke very well. I’m sure he’ll get his own back over the next few weeks at some point.
The trip to South Africa was a great learning and bonding experience for the team.
There are only a few days to go before we take on Australia at the Millennium Stadium. I’m incredibly excited by the prospect of walking out in front of a big crowd and singing the national anthem.
Playing Australia is the pinnacle of our sport and we want to get our campaign off to a winning start – and we are confident we can do that.
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I hear that Martin Offiah and Gethin Jones will be dancing with their Strictly Come Dancing partners.
Good luck to them, that’s all I can say about that, you won’t find me getting my dancing shoes on when I retire.
Joking aside, it promises to be a great show and I urge the fans of the four teams competing on Saturday to come and support us.
At some point in the competition we may come across New Zealand and the freakish talent that is Sonny Bill Williams. It’s great news for the tournament that he’s decided he wants to play.
He’s one of the biggest names, if not the biggest, in our sport. As players we want to test ourselves against the very best and he definitely is that.
My brother Joel was selected in England’s squad for the upcoming Autumn Internationals this week.
For Joel and I to both be playing at the top of our sports is unbelievable – our family are very proud.
Joel’s such a talent and has worked so hard on his game since his move to Saracens.
The transition from league to union isn’t an easy one but he’s handled it fantastically well and I’ve got no doubt he will hit the ground running and can go on and prosper on the international stage.
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