Joel Tomkins has left Wigan Warriors by mutual consent and signed for Hull KR after a video emerged of him and his brother, Sam, being abusive and threatening to staff in a local bar.
Joel Tomkins was initially given a four-match ban and a £10,000 fine while Sam – who is leaving the club to join Catalans Dragons – was fined £5,000.
Former dual-code England international Joel, said he felt “deeply ashamed” by the incident in a bar in Standish, near Wigan, but now says he is grateful for the opportunity to “move on” with Hull KR after signing a deal until the end of the 2019 season.
“I’m sure everybody is aware of what’s gone on at Wigan and I accepted the punishment from them,” said Tomkins. “After sitting down with my family and thinking a bit harder about it, I decided that the best thing for all parties would be for me to leave the club and I offered my resignation to Kris Radlinski, which he accepted.
“I instructed my agent to look into a deal elsewhere and there were a few other Super League clubs that were interested as well as Rovers, but Tim called me personally and really sold the club to me, both for the back end of this year and next season. After a 10-minute conversation with him, my mind was made up.
“I’m really grateful to Tim and everybody else involved at Hull KR for giving me the opportunity to move on from this. It has been embarrassing for me, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s a sad situation for me to leave Wigan in this way, but it’s also an opportunity for me to move to a club that’s on the rise and that has some big plans moving forward. I’m genuinely excited to be a part of that.”
Wigan executive director Kris Radlinski defended Joel’s character and said he hoped the player’s time at the club would not be overshadowed by the incident.
“Everyone has commented on the video but the hardest thing for me is that the video is not a true reflection of the man I know,” said Radlinski. “After the video had emerged, he sent me a message apologising for the position that he put me in and said that whatever I decided, our friendship would remain intact.
“Joel is a good guy and somebody I care about. This has been a really difficult situation for all people concerned. Now it is time to move on. We thank Joel and wish him well with his future endeavours.”