Tonight could mark Thomas Leuluai’s last game Super League game, though he will be hoping he has one more to look forward to next week.
A Wigan Warriors legend and a Harry Sunderland Award winner when the Cherry and Whites ended a 12-year wait for Grand Final glory back in 2010, Leuluai will never be forgotten by the club.
He most recently played a key role in their 20th Challenge Cup Final win against Huddersfield earlier this season and is set to stay with the club as assistant coach in 2023 and beyond but wants one more Grand Final win under his name.
But he will have to get passed Leeds first in tonight’s semi-final, but it being his last game at the DW Stadium will provide extra motivation enhanced by the release of a new shirt designed especially for him to represent his heritage.
Wigan got his cousin and Leeds Rhinos legend Kylie Leuluai – who won six Grand Finals including one against Wigan in 2015 in his final game – to talk fans through the shirt.
“It’s really humbling of the club,” Leuluai who is now at Warrington said, “It’s a great gesture from the club. It’s representing his people and it’s a great gesture, his mum’s side, the Asmali side back in Northern New Zealand, very humbling.
“I think there will be immense pride when they see the shirt especially his mum who his very proud of her bloodlines. She will be very grateful that you’ve given this gesture to Tommy and he will represent it with pride as he always does.”
❤️ 𝘼 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙏𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙮 🇳🇿
To pay tribute to Club legend Thomas Leuluai, we are delighted to launch a special jersey in his name.
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) September 15, 2022
Designed by Official Technical Kit Partner, hummel, the black shirt features his name “Leuluai” and Heritage Number “997” outlining the Club’s badge.
It also features elements of Leuluai’s heritage including the fern – the national symbol of New Zealand – as well as a Warrior – a word synonymous with him as a player on the field.