Thomas Leuluai

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Thomas Leuluai
Tommy Leuliai.jpg
Personal information
Full name Thomas James Leuluai[1]
Born (1985-06-22) 22 June 1985 (age 33)
Auckland, New Zealand
Height 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 86 kg (13 st 8 lb)[2]
Playing information
Position Halfback, Hooker, Five-eighth
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2003–04 New Zealand Warriors 21 2 0 0 8
2005–06 London Broncos 38 20 0 0 80
2007–12 Wigan Warriors 188 60 0 0 240
2013–16 New Zealand Warriors 58 9 0 0 36
2017– Wigan Warriors 63 7 0 1 29
Total 368 98 0 1 393
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2003–17 New Zealand 39 3 0 0 12
2011–12 Exiles 2 0 0 0 0
As of 14 October 2018
Source: [3][4]

Thomas James Leuluai (born 22 June 1985) is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who plays for English club Wigan Warriors of Super League. A New Zealand international, he has also played in Super League for the London Broncos, and in the National Rugby League for the New Zealand Warriors. Leuluai was a member of the 2008 World Cup-winning New Zealand team.[4]


Leuluai is of Samoan and Māori descent.

Leuluai's father is former Maori representative/New Zealand international James Leuluai, who scored two tries for Hull F.C. in the 1985 Challenge Cup Final 6 weeks before Thomas was born. Thomas was educated at Mount Albert Grammar School where he attended school with fellow rugby league players Sonny Bill Williams, Steve Matai and Tevita Latu. Leuluai's brother Macgraff Leuluai currently plays for Widnes Vikings, his uncle Phillip Leuluai played for Salford City Reds and his cousin Kylie Leuluai played for the Leeds Rhinos.

Playing career

New Zealand Warriors

Leuluai started his professional career at National Rugby League side New Zealand Warriors in 2003. He also played for the Junior Kiwis. At the time of his début he was the youngest player to play for the club, coincidentally in the same game Mark Robinson became the oldest player to make his début for the club. With competition from New Zealand internationals Stacey Jones and Lance Hohaia he had limited first team experience at New Zealand Warriors and consequently he spent most of the 2003 season in the Bartercard Cup playing for his youth club Otahuhu-Ellerslie, playing 10 games and scoring 5 tries. Leuluai became the second youngest player ever to represent the Kiwis when he made his début that year. At the end of 2004, he left the Warriors after playing 21 first grade games and scoring two tries.

London Broncos

In 2004, Leuluai signed a contract with Super League side London Broncos as a replacement for Dennis Moran who had left the Broncos to join the Wigan Warriors. He spent two years at the club playing 38 games and scoring 19 tries. Both seasons were affected by injury. In 2005, his season was cut short by a broken ankle[5] while his 2006 campaign was disrupted by a hamstring injury sustained while playing for New Zealand. His contract was not extended and he agreed to join the Wigan Warriors for the 2007 season.

Wigan Warriors

Tommy Leuluai playing for the Kiwis at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
Leuluai playing for Warriors in 2013

Leuluai agreed a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors in December 2006 after months of speculation and rumours. He would replace Australians Michael Dobson and partner Trent Barrett in the halves during the 2007 season. Leuluai made his Wigan Super League début in a 16–10 defeat against Warrington at the JJB Stadium on 9 February 2007. He scored the game-winning try against St. Helens at the JJB stadium and scored Wigan's first against Bradford in the history breaking 31–30 comeback win in the Play-offs.

On 9 May 2008 Leuluai played for New Zealand against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the Centenary Test, which took place 100 years to the day after the New Zealand 'All Golds' first met Australia. At the end of 2008 Leuluai played for the New Zealand team which won the 2008 World Cup.[6][7]

In April 2009, having made over seventy appearances for the club, Leuluai extended his contract with the Wigan Warriors by three years to last him until the 2012 season.[8]

He helped Wigan to their first Championship since 1998 with a man-of-the-match performance in the 2010 Super League Grand Final earning him the Harry Sunderland Trophy.[9]

The 2011 Wigan Warriors season started against St Helens R.F.C. in the opening fixture of the season, with his first try coming a week later at Bradford Bulls in Round 2.[10][11] As well as playing in the 2011 World Club Challenge, Leuluai scored a brace in Round 4 against Salford City Reds.[12][13] A try against Hull Kingston Rovers was followed with another against Crusaders RL in Rounds 10 and 13 respectively.[14][15] He then claimed two more braces in consecutive matches, firstly against Barrow Raiders in the Challenge Cup fourth round, then against Harlequins in Round 14 of 2011's Super League XVI.[16][17]

Leuluai was selected for the Exiles squad for the Rugby League International Origin Match against England at Headingley on 10 June 2011.[18]

Leuluai played for Wigan at hooker in the 2011 Challenge Cup Final against Leeds Rhinos, scoring a try in his side's victory.

Return to New Zealand

In November 2011 Leuluai announced that he had signed a three-year contract with the New Zealand Warriors starting in 2013.[19] In 2016 he was linked with a move back to Super League with St Helens,[20] However, in July 2016, Leuluai announced he would be re-joining the Wigan Warriors in 2017.[21]

Wigan comeback


Having been awarded the number 7 jersey on his return to Wigan he made his second début against Salford Red Devils in Round 1 of the 2017 Super League season. A week later he helped Wigan to lift the World Club Challenge against the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks scoring his first try of the season a week later against Widnes Vikings. Leuluai suffered a broken jaw in Round 11 of the Super League just six months after suffering the same injury playing for New Zealand.[22] He made his comeback just four weeks later against St Helens, scoring his second try of the season against Wakefield Trinity. He scored his third and final try of the season against Castleford Tigers in the sixth round of the Super 8's. His good form saw his called up to the New Zealand World Cup squad playing twice for the Kiwis.


After telling coach Shaun Wane he felt more comfortable in the hooker role he was handed the number 9 shirt after the departure of Micheal McIlorum.[23]


  1. ^ LEULUAI, THOMAS JAMES 2003 – 2010 – KIWI #704 Archived 23 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Wigan Warriiors Player Profile Thomas Leuluai". web page. Archived from the original on 7 September 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  3. ^ loverugbyleague
  4. ^ a b "Statistics at". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  5. ^ Rae, Richard (5 February 2006). "London calling". From The Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
  6. ^ "Kiwis select Sonny Bill". Sky Sports. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  7. ^ "Kiwis to wait on Webb and Matai". BBC. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  8. ^ "Leuluai pens new deal". Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  9. ^ Hadfield, Dave (4 October 2010). "Maguire proves the guiding light as revitalised Wigan roll back the years". The Independent. UK: Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  10. ^ Scott, Ged (12 February 2011). "St Helens 16–16 Wigan". BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Bradford 10 Wigan 44: Roberts shines on his return ahead of World Club Challenge". Daily Mail. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  12. ^ Wilson, Andy (27 February 2011). "Wigan Warriors make brave attempt but Dragons are still worlds apart". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  13. ^ "Salford City Reds 16–32 Wigan Warriors". BBC. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  14. ^ "Hull KR 16–28 Wigan". BBC. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  15. ^ Wilson, Andy (1 May 2011). "Sam Tomkins dazzles as Wigan Warriors crush Crusaders". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  16. ^ "Wigan 52–0 Barrow". BBC. 8 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  17. ^ "Wigan 54–6 Harlequins". BBC. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  18. ^ "Warrington dominate Exiles picks for Origin fixture". 4 May 2011. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  19. ^ Thomas Leuluai signs with Warriors for 2013, 20 November 2011
  20. ^ "Leuluai linked with St Helens - Love Rugby League". 14 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Warriors lead the race for Leuluai". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  22. ^ "Injury blow for Leuluai". Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  23. ^ "2018 Squad Numbers | News | Wigan Warriors". Retrieved 2018-01-23.

External links

  • Wigan Warriors profile
  • Thomas Leuluai Wigan Career Page on the Wigan RL Fansite.
  • NRL stats
  • New Zealand Warriors profile
  • SL profile
  • 2017 RLWC profile
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