Tommy Leuluai will finish his playing days back at Wigan.
The fans’ favourite, who joined the NRL’s New Zealand Warriors at the end of 2012, will return for the 2017 season, with a view to take up a coaching role once he hangs up his boots in ‘a few years’.
Leuluai, a half-back and hooker, quickly became a favourite at the DW Stadium after joining from Harlequins in 2007, particularly for his uncompromising defence.
The 2008 World Cup winner described returning to Wigan as a ‘no-brainer’, with the Warriors winning the race to his signature after reported interest from other Super League clubs – including arch rivals St Helens.
Leuluai said: “I had a bit of a look around in Super League but, as soon as I knew that Wigan were interested, it was a no-brainer to be honest.
“I’ve got a lot of close friends at Wigan and I really love the club and its history.
His very presence just improves usShaun Wane
“With my wife being from Wigan and us having a new-born baby, I thought for my family it would be better for us to be back in England.
“I really enjoyed my time there and I look forward to coming back and representing the club with the pride and the passion that it deserves and to winning some more trophies before moving on to a career in coaching.”
Wigan’s mission to capture Leuluai’s signature was first reported by Wigan Today on June 1.
In his first stint at Wigan he lifted a Challenge Cup, two League Leaders’ Shields and a Grand Final winner’s ring.
He also picked up the Harry Sunderland trophy for his display in Warriors’ 22-10 Grand Final win over St Helens in 2010.
A Kiwi international with 38 caps, Leuluai’s return excites coach Shaun Wane.
“Tommy is a fantastic player that needs little introduction to the Wigan fans. Hard-hitting, tough and uncompromising, he is a player that really leads from the front,” he said.
“His very presence just improves us.”