Tompkins: 'Tight bond the difference for Saxons'

  • Nick Tompkins believes team spirit gives Saxons strength
  • England Saxons face South Africa A on Friday, 6.10pm BST Sky Sports 3

England Saxons centre Nick Tompkins believes the squad’s close bind will help them achieve ‘something special’ against South Africa A in the final match of the series on Friday.

The Saxons lead the two-match series 1-0 after a 24-32 win in Bloemfontein and will now look to wrap up the series in George on Friday evening (610pm BST, live on Sky Sports 3).

“We want to win this series, we don’t want to take our foot off the pedal,” said Tompkins. “We know they’re going to come back strong because they’ll have an extra week together so we know it’s going to be tough, but we want to achieve something special here.

“I think what’s struck me about this tour is how well the team has gelled. With age grade sides, it usually takes a couple of months in various camps to get to know each other.

“But here I feel a real bind has formed and it’s been a really fun tour.”

The 21 year-old Tompkins has made three appearances for Saracens since joining three years ago and starts for the Saxons in the centre outside Bath Rugby’s Ollie Devoto after an impressive outing first time round for the duo.

“For me I’ve just been at Saracens and I just know that culture and that style of play and it’s fantastic because this tour is helping me to work on a side of my game that I may not have worked on and helped me develop something different.

“I’m loving it, getting to learn a different culture and getting to know new people, seeing how different clubs and players work with different coaches has been a real insight into a different style of rugby.”

Head Coach Ali Hepher has made three changes to the side for Friday’s match. “We’ve talked a little bit about their physicality and I think that was something we lacked in the last game,” added Tompkins.

“So if we can get in their faces and chop them then that will be a big key to winning the game.”