Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet is looking forward to having Thomas Leuluai on his coaching staff next season.
While Lee Briers is heading to the NRL as ‘transitions coach’ at Brisbane Broncos, the Warriors hooker will retire at the end of this campaign and become an assistant to Peet at the club he has so far served for twelve years in two spells.
The 37-year-old New Zealand international and 2008 World Cup winner, who will be part of the Kiwis’ coaching staff at this year’s tournament, re-joined Wigan in 2017 after playing for them between 2007-12.
Auckland-born Leuluai also had two spells at New Zealand Warriors and first came to the UK in 2005 to play for London Broncos.
He has won a World Club Challenge (2017), two Super League Grand Finals (2010 and 2018) and two Challenge Cups (2011 and this year) with Wigan, who are gearing up for the play-offs and will play their home semi-final on Friday week, September 16.
Leuluai was named club captain following the retirement of Sean O’Loughlin, who is now on the coaching staff.
“There have been wonderful times on the field, and amazing times off it,” he said.
“I’ve loved them all but without doubt, the best thing Rugby League has given me is the friendships I have made.
“I have to give special mention to the Wigan fans who have taken me in like one of their own. They are what make this club so special to play for.”
Peet, who has already pouched the Challenge Cup in his first season since succeeding Adrian Lam, said: “Thomas is an example to any young player on how to play the game with the balance of skill, physicality and respect.
“I owe so much to him for the support and guidance he has given me as a player, captain and friend.
“Thomas has all the attributes to make an outstanding coach. He will bring so much to our coaching team and I am excited to work with him during the next stage of his career.”
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