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Mourgue on the influence of Tomkins
Newly-crowned Man of Steel Sam Tomkins will have a big influence on Saturday’s grand final whether he plays or not, said Arthur Mourgue, his Catalan Dragons understudy.
Mourgue, 10 years younger than Tomkins, is ready again in case the England captain fails to shake off a knee injury in time for the deciding Old Trafford title with St Helens.
The 22-year-old Frenchman, who scored a try from the full-back in his side’s 28-10 semi-final win over Hull KR, says he’s confident in the makeshift role but will be just as happy to surrender on the bench to welcome his mentor.
“Sam’s influence is everything to me,” Mourgue said. “I play this game the best I can and he’s a good example.
“He’s very open, in training, he always gives advice and he’s very intelligent. He sees the game before everyone else, he sees space.
Mourgue is the selection of the generation of exceptional young French people who played a key role in the success of the Dragons in 2021.
A specialist half-back, he modeled his game on that of longtime Thomas Bosc, now Steve McNamara’s right-hand man on the coaching staff, and Australian scrum half Scott Dureau as he rose through the junior ranks. but is ready to replace it. anywhere to help the team and, if not required at the back, is likely to provide support to hooker Michael McIlorum.
“I’m sure I’ll be on the bench on Saturday and come in at nine o’clock, but if Sam isn’t available I’ll be at one,” he said.
“I know what to do, everyone in the team has to be ready for this game. You train all year round to play a game like this.
“I’ve always wanted to play for this club at the highest level and this year I’m moving a lot of positions. It’s important for me to have experience everywhere, I can see so much from every part of the game.
Mourgue plays the all-round role that Super League Player of the Year Jack Welsby has fulfilled so impressively for Saturday’s opponents in St Helens and has played in all but three of the Catalans’ 26 League and Cup games so far. ‘now this year, much more than he expected.
He admits he’ll be nervous on his first visit to Old Trafford, but is overflowing with confidence to suggest it won’t be a hindrance.
“I saw the stadium on TV and thought it would be great if one day I could play there,” he said. “Now I have the opportunity, it’s crazy.
“I’ll be a little nervous but I know what to do and I know how we have to play to win this game, so we’ll find a way to get past that.”