Wigan Warriors halfback hopes to be in seventh heaven

Evergreen Thomas Leuluai will again wear Wigan’s number-seven shirt next year, when he is determined to help the Warriors improve on a disappointing 2021 campaign.

The 36-year-old Kiwi halfback, who will be the oldest player in Super League next season, replaced Sean O’Loughlin as skipper for a season in which the Warriors were eliminated from the play-offs at the first hurdle and the Challenge Cup in the quarter-finals.

He has penned a one-year contract extension and explained: “I’ve still got that desire to win and contribute to some success. Wanting to leave the club in a good position is really driving me.”

Leuluai says he and new coach Matty Peet have agreed to manage his time on the pitch.

“I always to try to do my bit but we’re taking a different approach and will try to be smart with what I do,” he added.

“Matty is clear that I will have some rest during the year.”

Bevan French (1), Zak Hardaker (3), Liam Marshall (5), Brad Singleton (8), Sam Powell (9), Willie Isa (11), Liam Farrell (12) and John Bateman (13) are the other members of a 30-strong squad to keep their number.

The new recruits and their squad numbers are Iain Thornley (4), Cade Cust (6), Patrick Mago (10), Kaide Ellis (15), Abbas Miski (24) and Ramon Silva (31).

Leuluai, talking to Wigan Today, added: I’m really impressed with all the new lads. They’re good people and they’ve fitted into the group.”

Wigan 2022 squad numbers: 1 Bevan French, 2 Jake Bibby (last season Dom Manfredi), 3 Zak Hardaker, 4 Iain Thornley (Oliver Gildart), 5 Liam Marshall, 6 Cade Cust (Jai Field), 7 Thomas Leuluai, 8 Brad Singleton, 9 Sam Powell, 10 Patrick Mago (Joe Bullock), 11 Willie Isa, 12 Liam Farrell, 13 John Bateman, 14 Morgan Smithies (Oliver Partington), 15 Kaide Ellis (Morgan Smithies), 16 Harry Smith (not given in 2021), 17 Oliver Partington (Tony Clubb), 19 Ethan Havard (Liam Byrne), 20 Liam Byrne (Harry Smith), 21 Kai Pearce-Paul (Ethan Havard), 22 Joe Shorrocks (Jake Bibby), 23 Jai Field (Mitch Clark), 24 Abbas Miski (Chris Hankinson), 27 Umyla Hanley (Kai Pearce-Paul), 28 Brad O’Neill (Sam Halsall), 29 Alex Sutton (James McDonnell), 30 Matty Nicholson (Umyla Hanley), 31 Ramon Silva (Jackson Hastings)

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