It has been revealed that retiring English international Sam Tomkins nearly joined the South Sydney Rabbitohs before his NRL stint with the Warriors.

The legendary rugby league fullback who will play his final game in the Super League Grand Final this weekend for the Catalans Dragons had a two-season stint for the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL.

However, it has now been revealed that Sam Tomkins nearly joined the South Sydney Rabbitohs instead for the 2014 NRL season due to his relationship with Russell Crowe.

“In many ways, while the profile of rugby league needs working on – that's probably a polite way of saying it – Sam has maybe more than most in the Super League era made an impact beyond the sport," former Wigan Warriors teammate Brian Carney told Love Rugby League.

“Yes, he's not on the billboards in London like we'd want him to be, but there aren't many players who could go on the red carpet and interview Russell Crowe before the premiere of the new Superman film, Man of Steel.

“Sam did that in London in 2013 before he signed for the New Zealand Warriors and I was there to see it.

“When we pushed our cameras in front of Russell Crowe, he said, ‘ah, Sam Tomkins, you're a helluva player, mate. I'm going to try and get you to Souths'.

“Sam laughed it off and they did a great interview. There was a tremendous rapport because Russell Crowe realised what a great player he was talking to. There aren't many rugby league players from these shores who can turn the head of Russell Crowe.”

If he ended up joining the South Sydney Rabbitohs, it would have seen him become an NRL Premiership player and play alongside the likes of Sam Burgess, Greg Inglis, Adam Reynolds, and Issac Luke.

While they may not have had the money to recruit Tomkins, they did purchase the quartet of Jeff Lima, Ben Te'o, Thomas Burgess and Bryson Goodwin during that season's transfer window - begging the question that they probably could have signed Tomkins during that period.

ST HELENS, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22: Actor and co-owner of South Sydney Rabbitohs Russell Crowe and former South Sydney Rabbitohs player Sam Burgess (L) in discussion prior to the World Club Challenge match between St Helens and South Sydney Rabbitohs at Langtree Park on February 22, 2015 in St Helens, England. The match is the climax of the newly-expanded World Club Series. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The ex-English captain and former New Zealand Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins announced his retirement from rugby league after 16 seasons earlier this year.

A two-time English Super League Man of Steel award winner, Tomkins joined the NRL from the Wigan Warriors at the end of the 2013 season for a world-record fee at the time ($1.5 million).

Although he was signed on a three-year contract, Tomkins would only last two years in the NRL- 2014 and 2015. He returned to England at the end due to injury and homesickness and never returned to the Australian competition.

During these seasons, he would go on to make 37 appearances and score 14 tries for the Kiwi club. However, his time in the NRL was disappointing not only for himself but the Warriors fan base.

Despite being considered a flop, Tomkins admitted in 2017 that he had no regrets about his time with the Warriors. The Warriors failed to make the finals in the two seasons with Tomkins on their roster.

"Unfortunately this is going to be my last season on the field," Tomkins said in a statement, announcing his retirement.

"I can't do it much longer. I still love the game, I'm still passionate about the game, I want to play and the rest of my body is saying to continue, but I've got that many issues in my left knee now that I can't go much longer.

“I've always given 100% when I've gone on the field. It's a strange feeling knowing that it's coming to an end. Even speaking about it, it doesn't quite feel real yet.

"I've got nothing to lose and this year I want to go out as a winner. I've been very lucky to win things in my career, but my hunger now is exactly the same as it was all those years ago when I had no beard and a dodgy mullet."