Wigan Warriors: Tommy Leuluai discusses the impact of club 'legend' Va'aiga Tuigamala
Tommy Leuluai says it fills him with pride seeing what Va'aiga Tuigamala achieved during his career.
The death of the club legend was reported prior to Wigan Warriors’ 22-12 victory over Huddersfield Giants at the DW Stadium.
Leuluai admits he’s moved by the impact a fellow New Zealander had on the town and the sport.
He said: “My condolences go out to his family. Reading the comments showed he had touched so many people in this town and at this club. There were as many good things said about what he did off the field as well as on it. That really stood out to me.
“A lot of people spoke about him being a fantastic player but also a good person, and that’s what we want to create in our group.
“I suppose our paths are similar, and you just naturally gravitate to them. He had such a big effect on people, and I’m proud by what he has done, coming over here and playing great football. He’s a legend of the club.
“He was a super talented guy, and it would’ve been good playing outside him if he was a winger, but I wouldn’t have liked to play against him.”
Leuluai comes from the opposite side of Auckland to Tuigamala, but says he was someone everyone looked out for when he was playing.
“I watched the whole Wigan team but as a New Zealand boy you always look for the New Zealand names,” he added.
“He played for the All Blacks, everyone knew who he was, he’s a legend. I know the impact he’s had.
“All Blacks in New Zealand are idolised, and he was a great person, which stands out to me.”