Jan 13, 2017
Tompkins ready to step up
Saracens centre Nick Tompkins will line-up at inside centre for Saracens in their round five European Rugby Champions Cup clash away to Scarlets this weekend.
Tompkins is hoping to fill the void left by Brad Barritt after the Saracens skipper was suspended for three-weeks earlier this week. The academy graduate will make his 50th appearance for the Club in Sunday’s round five Champions Cup clash against Scarlets. The 21-year old, who toured South Africa last summer with England Saxons, was a late replacement for Barritt in the corresponding fixture against the West Walians at Allianz Park in October after the Sarries skipper pulled out of the game in the warm-up.
Tompkins scored a wonderful solo try in a Man of the Match performance in his side’s 44-26 round two win after his late call-up, and this Sunday, Tompkins will once again come into the side in place of Saracens' midfield general against a star-studded Scarlets back-line.
“It’s a big stage and a big opportunity to show what I can do but it’s not something I'll thinking about too much,” said Tompkins. ”It’s easy when you have players around you who are as good as they are here, they help you and they make it easier. I’ll just be focussing on what I can do for the team, trying to get that win first, but I’m really excited for Sunday.
“You need to be prepared and ready to take your shot, you need to be mentally tough to take the knock-backs and for me at this club there’s so many role models at this club to look up to.”
Saracens equalled Munster’s 13-game winning streak in their 24-10 win over Sale Sharks in December and ahead of Sunday’s game Tompkins reveals it’s not something that the squad have mentioned in the lead-up to their trip to the Parc y Scarlets on Sunday.
He said: “Funnily enough we haven’t spoken about it all. It’s not something we focus on but it’s one step of a time, we know it’s a bit of a cliché, and it really is. Mark (McCall) has spoken to us about how big this game is, and how it’s probably our most important game of the season so far. Obviously, it’s a nice achievement but we’re not going out there on Sunday playing for the record, we’ll be out there playing for each other. It’s an exciting challenge.
“It’s fascinating for me, coming from the academy, looking up to these guys from the beginning of the evolution we’ve been through as team. It’s shows the hunger the whole squad has but we don’t hold ourselves on the outcomes, we hold ourselves up to our performances and we need to focus on that once again this weekend.”
Nick Tompkins was talking to the England Rugby Podcast.