Dom Crosby reveals what Wigan Warriors can expect from his former Leeds Rhinos teammates Sam Walters and Kruise Leeming

Dom Crosby is excited by Wigan Warriors’ new additions for 2024.
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At the beginning of the week, the club announced they had agreed deals with Kruise Leeming, Sam Walters and Tiaki Chan.

Retired prop Crosby knows two of the recruits well, having spent time with them during his stint with Leeds Rhinos.

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“I travelled with Sam (Walters) in 2020 when I was injured and doing rehab,” he said.

“The first thing I noticed from him at that age was his work ethic.

“His professionalism and the way he conducted himself on and off the field was second to none.

“He’s definitely the type of player that will succeed in the Wigan culture, so I think it will be a great signing for the club, he’ll bring a different dimension.

“The way he is playing this year is superb.

Dom CrosbyDom Crosby
Dom Crosby
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“He’s got the offload and the ability to play in the middle or the back row.

“He doesn’t look out of place when he’s in different positions, so he’ll bring that versatility to the Warriors and be a real asset.

“He’s a real physical player and has a big presence on the field, which goes hand in hand with the way Wigan play.

“He’s very competitive as well, which stands out in training.

Sam Walters has signed a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors from 2024Sam Walters has signed a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors from 2024
Sam Walters has signed a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors from 2024

“He’s the perfect fit for the Wigan team moving forward.

“He’s only 22, so his best years are ahead of him.

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“The games he’s played this season will put him in good stead.

“Matty (Peet), Tommy (Leuluai) and Sean (O’Loughlin) will only help to make him a better player.

Kruise Leeming will join Wigan Warriors in 2024 after signing a four-year deal with the clubKruise Leeming will join Wigan Warriors in 2024 after signing a four-year deal with the club
Kruise Leeming will join Wigan Warriors in 2024 after signing a four-year deal with the club

“They’ve put their faith in a lot of young lads so they’ll nurture him and play to his strengths.

“I don’t think there’s any better role models in the game to look up to.

“Sam will be like a sponge- he’s always willing to learn.

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“He wants to work hard every day, and that’s the best trait you can have.”

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Walters joined Leeds from Widnes Vikings in 2019, and was named as the club’s academy player of the year in his first season at the club.

Crosby, who won two Grand Finals during his time with Wigan, believes the move would’ve had an impact on the young second-rower, due to the fact he had to move away from his hometown.

“It forces you to go out of your comfort zone and ultimately that’s where the growth happens,” he added.

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“It would’ve been a different philosophy to what he was used to, but he took it all in his stride.

“When I was there you wouldn’t guess that it was his first year in the full time environment.

“He was really professional and applied himself in the right way, working hard.

“He was probably heads and shoulders above anyone else his age.

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“One thing that does stand out is the fact that he wants to improve every day to be the best version of himself.”

Crosby also crossed paths with Kruise Leeming during his time at Headingley.

The hooker is currently with the Gold Coast Titans, having made the move to the NRL earlier this season.

“He was a leader within the group at Leeds,” Crosby explained.

“He spoke when he needed to and everyone listened.

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“He was probably one of the most professional players I’ve come across.

“He’s very meticulous in the way he prepares and the way he trains.

“Once again, he’s like a sponge, and just wants to improve every single day- that’s the biggest thing that stood out.

“He just applied himself in the right way and became a real leader in the team.

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“He’s only 27 so his best years are ahead of him, and he’s got big aspirations.

“He wants to win stuff, so it will be a massive signing for Wigan.

“He’s a really big team player, and wants the best for the people around him.

“He’ll be getting a huge experience in the NRL- it’s a different game with a new environment.

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“Kruise is someone who wants to test himself in every way and play in the big games.

“He’ll gain massive confidence from going over there, so that will only hold him in good stead for next year.”

The signing of Leeming could present Wigan with a number of dilemmas next season.

Sam Powell has been the club’s first choice in that position for a number of years now, with the 30-year-old currently celebrating his testimonial year.

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Brad O’Neill has performed well in the role as well, and started the 2022 Challenge Cup final at hooker.

The Warriors also have young Tom Forber, who made his Super League debut against Hull KR at Craven Park last season, while the out-of-contract Cade Cust has been utilised in the nine position from the bench in recent weeks.

“It’s only healthy that you do have competition in your squad,” Crosby noted.

“It brings the best out of players, and that’s what you need in the successful Wigan system.

“You want competition for places in the team.

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“It sets the standard in training and helps you to become a better player.

“I presume there’ll be a lot of tough decisions, but it’ll be for the good of the team.

“It’s exciting times, and the signings are great within their own rights, but the biggest thing is the competition.

“It can create a good environment and that’s what Matty wants, so it’s only a real positive for the team.”