Wigan Warriors: Tommy Leuluai expecting a tough test from Hull KR in opening Super League fixture
Tommy Leuluai expects Hull KR to give Warriors a tough test in their opening game of the season this weekend.
Matty Peet’s side head up to Craven Park, with Wigan having lost to the Robins in each of their last three meetings.
Leuluai is excited to get the new Super League campaign started but is not underestimating Tony Smith’s KR.
He said: “We’ll definitely be tested. They do things a little bit different, which is good for the competition, I enjoy watching them play. They have some talented players and play to their strengths.
“They won’t sneak up on anyone this year because we all know what they are about. We definitely know what a threat they are and will try our best to contain them.
“Excitement is the main feeling around the camp. We’ve been training a long time, and we are trying to prepare the best we can.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s been a long pre-season so I’m happy to have that finished."
Leuluai says the squad have enjoyed working under new head coach Peet so far and are buying into his new ideas.
“It’s been good, Matty has done a great job, it’s been well organised,” said the Kiwi.
“We’ve got a new focus where we are encouraged to play and take opportunities.
“It’s been refreshing having the new group of coaches, they’ve been great. They’ve brought in fresh ideas, so it’s been good.
“Being more attacking is being pushed and hopefully that will come across this year. We’ve got a lot of talented players.
“In the past, we’ve been looked at as a defensive kind of team, but Matty is trying to encourage them to play.
“He’s really brought the group together, giving a connection between the players.
“We’ve done a lot of things away from the pitch, which I think has been good. He’s put a big focus on us going back into the community, giving back and learning about the history of our club.
“Everyone is really tight. We’ve got great bunch of boys that are all committed to the cause. Our young boys have played a fair amount of rugby so are quite experienced too.”
Leuluai hasn’t made any concrete decisions about his future beyond this season, but has admitted he’s headed into the last few campaigns thinking each one could be his last.
The 36-year-old says his final decision will be based on how he feels at the end of the year.
“I haven’t made a call yet but I’m not silly I know I am coming to the end,” he said.
“For the last three or four year I went into it thinking it might be my last. It all depends how the body holds up, and if mentally you want to go through what you need to.
“Coaching has been on the cards for a few years, it’s something I want to have a crack at when I finish playing.”
Throughout the upcoming season, Peet has will be rotating the squad to ensure his captain is given the right amount of rest time.
Leuluai said: “It’s the right thing for the club and me personally.
“There’ll be at times when my experience is needed and times when I need a break and a young kid is given a crack.
“I’ve been trying to pass on everything I’ve learnt as much as I can. As a player of my age, you learn a few things, and you are just sharing that experience.
“Regardless of whether I’m playing in the squad or not, I’ll be doing everything I can to help the team perform.
“Harry (Smith) has been really good, he’s a very talented player but is also very smart, he’ll defo have a say on our season.”
To celebrate the start of the Super League season we are offering readers 20% off digital sport subscriptions until February 23. Use promo code SL20 when signing up to enjoy the discount. https://www.wigantoday.net/subscriptions/sports.