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  1. ITV Report

Parents tackle dilemma as rugby brothers play for England at same time

Joel Tomkins makes his England rugby union debut this weekend. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The family of rugby-playing brothers Sam and Joel Tomkins are faced with a dilemma this weekend when the siblings play for England at the same time, but in different matches.

Sam will turn out for his national rugby league side in the World Cup match against Ireland in Huddersfield, while his older brother Joel makes his rugby union international debut against Australia at Twickenham. Both games kick off at 1430 on Saturday.

ITV News' Ian Payne reports.

When the brothers' matches have clashed in the past, their parents' solution has been to each go to different games. However, this weekend both Andy and Alison Tomkins have decided to watch their son Joel's big day.

Luckily, Sam is understanding about it, telling ITV News:

It's the first game I can ever remember where I'll have no family coming to watch, but there's good reason for it.

Sam Tomkins will be in action in the Rugby League World Cup on Saturday. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/

However, things could get more complicated in the future because there is a third Tomkins brother - 21-year-old Logan - who also plays professional rugby league for Wigan Warriors.

If all three Tomkins boys ever play in simultaneous big games, dad Andy said he will be forced to "toss a coin" to decide who to watch.