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Thomas Leuluai reveals “humbling” phone call with Michael Maguire as he thanks Wigan Warriors fans

When you think of players from New Zealand who have taken Super League by storm, one of the first names that comes to mind is Thomas Leuluai.

The Wigan scrum-half is a Harry Sunderland Award winner helping the Cherry and Whites end a 12-year wait for Grand Final glory in 2010 before helping the Warriors to Challenge Cup success in 2011.

A player who embodies the cherry and white Wigan jersey as well as the black and white New Zealand jersey, Leuluai’s career has all but come to an end having won a second Challenge Cup with the Warriors in 2022.

However, he still has one last game to play: tonight for New Zealand against Leeds,

Speaking at an event at Wigan through the week to celebrate his career, Leuluai revealed the phone call when former Wigan boss and current New Zealand boss asked him to play his final game for New Zealand.

“When Madge called me to chat about things, I was obviously surprised, humbled by it,” Leuluai said, “I’m not going to lie, it’s not really my style, I was a bit nervous about doing it.

“I remember thinking about it, I have so many good memories in that jersey it’s been a part of not just me, but my family for a long time.

“I’m really humbled by it. I consider myself very lucky to play my last game in a Kiwi shirt.”

He also wanted to thank Wigan as a town for how they’ve taken him in over the years:

“I want to thank the Wigan town, it’s been a pleasure playing for your club, I’ve really enjoyed it. You’ve taken me in as one of your own.

“I didn’t think I’d stay here so long, two of my kids were born here. I think the people of the town is what makes this club special. I’ve played at other clubs but it’s the way you support this club, it’s been a privilege.”

Fans who want to watch his final game can do so on the OurLeague app.

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