Sam Tomkins and Ryan Hall have paid tribute to the late Steve Prescott MBE

Last Updated: 10/11/13 4:29pm

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Duo pay tribute to former St Helens and England full-back Steve Prescott

England internationals Sam Tomkins and Ryan Hall have paid tribute to Steve Prescott MBE, who died following a seven-year battle with cancer on Saturday.

The former Hull FC and St Helens full-back spent his time since his diagnosis raising money for good causes through the Steve Prescott foundation.

As England were preparing to face Fiji in the World Cup on Saturday at the KC Stadium, coach Steve McNamara broke the news to the squad that Prescott, 39, had died in the early hours of the morning.

Tomkins has labelled Prescott an 'inspiration' and he insists that what the father of two had gone through in the past few years surpasses anything players face on the pitch.

"People think rugby players are tough because they are out there smashing each other, that's not tough. What Steve Prescott has done for the last five or six years is tough."
Tomkins on Prescott

"Steve McNamara told us this (Saturday) morning, devastating news," Tomkins told Sky Sports. "Someone I think everyone can take inspiration from.

"People think rugby players are tough because they are out there smashing each other, that's not tough. What Steve Prescott has done for the last five or six years is tough.

Privileged

"I've been lucky enough to have him present us with shirts before and, if there was one reason to win (against Fiji), that was it."

Hall, who bagged two tries in Saturday's win over the Fijians, is full of admiration for Prescott and hopes that some of the man's courage can rub off on the team and help them to World Cup glory.

"Throughout his playing days he was a great player," explained Hall. "He was a servant to the game.

"After his illness got diagnosed he put everything of his last moments into the game.

"He came in last year, mid-year before the Exiles game. He spoke to us. It was very touching for him to speak to us about what he's been doing.

"If every player in this team has an ounce of the courage of that man, I think we'll go a long way to winning this."

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