The difficult move Nick Tompkins admits he must make to fulfil his Lions dream
However, with the tour to South Africa not scheduled to take place until next year, the 25-year-old has admitted he will likely have to leave Saracens at the end of this season in order to challenge for a place in Warren Gatland’s 2021 tour party.
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The London club have been automatically relegated to the Championship for the 2020/21 season due to repeated salary cap breaches, a demotion that has left Tompkins sizing up his options away from Saracens, with whom he is contracted until 2022.
Despite winning an under-20s World Cup with England, Tompkins was snapped up this year by new Wales coach Wayne Pivac for a Six Nations campaign where he showed his worth despite the Welsh losing three of their four matches before the final game versus Scotland was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
In an interview with The Rugby Paper, Tompkins said: “What Will said is really pleasing because he knows what he’s talking about and I grew up watching him as one of my idols.
“Am I ready for the Lions? I don’t know, but for that to happen would be a dream come true. I just wish I’d had that last game against Scotland because if I’d put in a good performance there, I would have been really happy with my Six Nations.
“Bearing in mind those were my first international games at that level, I feel I learnt a lot, but it’s difficult to say what the future holds.
“If Saracens carry on with being relegated to the Championship, it will probably mean a decision to play with one of the Welsh regions to keep my standard up so I can keep playing internationals.
“It would only be for a year so I’d return as soon as Sarries came back up, but with what’s happening with coronavirus there’s a lot of uncertainty, so who knows what could happen? If there’s another scenario where Saracens stay up, maybe I’ll end up staying where I am.”
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