Warriors star Thomas Leuluai has a coaching career ahead of him when the time comes to hang up his boots.
That’s the view of newly-appointed New Zealand coach Michael Maguire, who oversaw part of Leuluai’s development player at Wigan,
and who will be picking the brains of the little half-back ahead of next month’s Test match against England in Denver.
“I’ll definitely consult with Tommy,” acknowledged Maguire.
“He has a great knowledge of the game and, in time, Tommy will be a coach.
“He really excelled for me when I was at Wigan – his knowledge around being able to set up a game plan and build pressure on teams was paramount to the team having success.
“Tommy has a lot of knowledge about the players over in England and I do with the ones in the NRL.”
It’s been almost seven years since Maguire left Wigan –
after two successful seasons – to return to Australia and a fresh challenge at South Sydney.
But he admits that spell at the DW Stadium played a massive part in the coach he has become.
“The opportunity Wigan gave me allowed me some incredible experiences over there,” he recognised.
“Winning the Super League and Challenge Cup allowed me to propel myself to Souths and now into the international stage with New Zealand.
“The enjoyment we had in our two years there will resonate with me and my kids for a long time.”
At least Maguire will never forget his time at Wigan, on account of a massive banner bearing his name that he took with him when he returned Down Under.
“Yeah, I still have the banner,” the 44-year-old Canberrian laughed.
“It’s something I’ll keep forever and will probably pass on to my children.
“We can’t hang it up, though, as it’s about the size of a house!
“But it’s one thing that allows me to have a lot of great memories.
“The way we were treated as a family at Wigan was quite incredible, and the impact around my coaching is that it was basically my starting point.
“It was great to see Shaun (Wane) take over, and I’ve seen that team rise and win trophies since I’ve left.
“The impact that club had on me is a reason why I’ve been able to forge further success in my career as a coach.”