England boss Shaun Wane pays tribute to retiring Thomas Leuluai

·2-min read
Shaun Wane Credit: PA Images
Shaun Wane Credit: PA Images

Current England boss and former Wigan head coach Shaun Wane has paid tribute to Warriors captain Thomas Leuluai following his retirement announcement.

Leuluai, 37, will hang up the boots at the end of the current Super League campaign and will become assistant coach under Matt Peet at Wigan.

The Warriors skipper has made more than 300 appearances for the DW Stadium side across two stints, scoring 74 tries. He has won eight major honours, including the record-breaking 20th Challenge Cup victory in 2022.

Wane, who will lead England at this year’s World Cup, coached Leuluai during both his spells with the Warriors. The 57-year-old is also currently the leadership and management director at the club.

READ: Thomas Leuluai to retire at the end of 2022 to join Wigan’s coaching staff

Shaun Wane on retiring Leuluai

“I’ve loved working with him,” Wane said.

“He is one of the toughest and fiercest competitors of the modern era in rugby league. He is a legendary bloke off the field too.

“He has been a terrific servant for the Warriors on both sides of the world and will be a great coach. I wish him all the best in what is next.”

Former Wigan head coach and current New Zealand boss Michael Maguire also shared his admiration of the half-back.

Leuluai will lead out New Zealand in their World Cup warm-up match against Leeds at Headingley Stadium later in October. He will represent his country for one final time, before joining the coaching team for the tournament.

“I was fortunate to coach Tommy in 2010 and 2011,” said Maguire. “He along with a great group of men transformed the Wigan team into a force over the last 10 years.

“Tommy has been one of the main stayers – winning Super League and Challenge Cup trophies.

“Tommy has been a great Kiwi player who all players loved playing with. I look forward to reuniting with Tommy at the end of the season being a part of the Kiwi World Cup campaign.”

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