NRL: Dean Bell hails capture of Sam Tomkins from Wigan Warriors
Last Updated: 02/04/14 10:19pm
New Zealand Warriors' general manager of football operations Dean Bell insists the club's capture of Sam Tomkins was massive.
The Warriors shelled out a world record fee to prize the England international from Wigan Warriors where he helped Shaun Wane's men clinch the double in 2013.
The NRL is a competition on the up and Bell, formerly of Wigan and Leeds, says acquiring the 25-year-old's signature was a big deal as attracting top-drawer Australians is more difficult.
However, the Warriors have brought in the likes of Chad Townsend and Jayson Bukuya and he believes players have started seeing exactly what the country has to offer.
"Sam coming here is a big boost for us," Bell told Sky Sports. "We've never really had those big marquee players, as the Australians call it.
"This would be our biggest signing. So I think that says a lot from as far as where we're going as a club. We're making a statement that we want the best players to come to New Zealand.
"It's always difficult getting the best Australian players to come here. Why move? Why move the family to come to a place they don't know.
"They probably see the worst of New Zealand. They come over in the winter. They go through an industrial estate to get to Mount Smart Stadium.
"It's probably drizzling in the winter and that and they don't realise what a beautiful country it is.
"The Australians that we have attracted and we've attracted good ones this year as well in Chad Townsend and Jayson Bukuya. They get here and they love it."
In the latest edition of Boots ‘n’ All Extra, is tackling getting worse in Super League? And we get Barrie McDermott’s star pupil as we reach half term in the season.