Wigan Warriors: Thomas Leuluai reflects on his favourite moments from throughout his playing career

Wigan Warriors’ Thomas Leuluai says the people he has met throughout his career are more important to him than the trophies he has won.
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The 37-year-old has recently announced that he will retire at the end of the season, and will play at the DW Stadium for the final time on Friday night in the game against Leeds Rhinos.

Leuluai states there are a few memories from his playing career that stand out more than others, but admits some of his favourite times have been away from the field.

“It’s really hard to pick a favourite moment,” he said.

Thomas Leuluai will hang up his boots at the end of the seasonThomas Leuluai will hang up his boots at the end of the season
Thomas Leuluai will hang up his boots at the end of the season
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“To be honest it’s not even the trophies or the things you’d expect people to say.

“The Challenge Cups and the Grand Finals are fantastic. The test matches, and being lucky enough to be part of the team who won the World Cup are all great moments.

“But, it’s the stuff off the field that sticks with me, the funny times you’ve had with your teammates and the relationships you’ve made.

“As I’ve gotten older, all those things mean more to me than the individual stuff.

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“If I had to pick one at Wigan on the field, it would be the 2010 Grand Final, as it was special because we hadn’t done something like that for a while.

“The group worked so hard with Madge and you could see a turn in the club.

“That is something that sticks out, and there have been great memories along the way.

“The World Cup with the New Zealand team was a crazy experience, and you sort of don’t realise how big it was until you look back now.

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“Despite that, without doubt the best thing rugby league has given me is the friendships it’s given me, that’s the highlight for me, you can take the rest away because I’d still be a happy man.

Relationships with other people are the coolest thing.”

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Leuluai says this season feels like the right time to hang up his boots.

“A lot of people have been asking if I’m sad, but there’s nothing like that,” he added.

“I just feel incredibly lucky that I’ve been able to make the decision on my own terms, and it’s not been made for me through injury or anything like that, so now just felt right.

“For the last couple of years I’ve been waiting for a reason to finish, I didn’t want to go a year too long or anything like that.”