Wigan Warriors: Thomas Leuluai says the 'future is bright' as he reflects on his last game in cherry and white

Thomas Leuluai says he can feel a positive difference at Wigan Warriors after playing his final game in cherry and white.
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The 37-year-old’s club career came to an end on Friday night in the 20-8 play-off semi-final defeat to Leeds Rhinos at the DW Stadium.

Despite not reaching the Grand Final, Leuluai states the future is bright at Wigan after the good work that’s been done this season.

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He said: “At the moment I’m feeling disappointed, but I’m still proud of the group. I’ve had worse losses, we just came up against a really good team, so you’ve got to give credit to Leeds, they were fantastic.

Thomas LeuluaiThomas Leuluai
Thomas Leuluai

"We weren’t the best in a five minute period and the sending off made it hard, but I was really proud of how we kept trying and didn’t cave in.

"The future is very bright here so in that sense it gives me a bit of pleasure.

"It’s a similar game and result to last year against Leeds, but it does feel different because of the group we’ve got.

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"I’m fully confident if the group look deep enough into this game then it will improve them. I’m obviously sad but pretty happy with the group.

"The change makes me proud. We’ve got a good group of boys, who can play rugby but are good people.

"I’m proud of we’ve been in touch with the community, and I know if we stay along those lines these results will go for us.”

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Leuluai says his retirement is something he has already come to terms with after his last outing at the DW Stadium.

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The scrum-half will play one final time for New Zealand in their Rugby League World Cup warm-up game against Leeds, before hanging up his boots and taking on a coaching role with Wigan.

“I’ve been playing for a long time, so it hasn’t snuck up on me,” he added.

"I knew it was coming. Matty (Peet) asked me during the week if I was nervous, but I wasn’t, I just wanted to play well and perform.

"There is a period I wish we could have and that’ll stick with me for a few days.”