9th October 2018, 11:05 | Wigan
Tommy Leuluai already has Super League Grand Final history, in 2010 he helped Wigan Warriors to a 22-10 victory against St Helens and his man-of-the-match performance earned him the Harry Sunderland Trophy at Old Trafford.
Leuluai joined Wigan in 2007, in five years he helped Wigan to a Grand Final in 2010 and a Challenge Cup final win over Leeds Rhinos in 2012, he returned to New Zealand Warriors in 2012 before resigning for Wigan in 2017.
“My first Grand Final was amazing, we’d been close for a number of years and it was my first one at Wigan – it was an awesome experience and great to get the win.”
Leulaui was born into Rugby League, his Father, James Leuluai, former Hull and New Zealand player won the Challenge Cup during a final replay against Widnes Vikings in 1982.
“In my family everyone played, my Dad played throughout most of my time in England – for us it was what we did – we didn’t have a choice in all honesty, I just got brought along to rugby training and told to play.”
Before joining Wigan in 2007, Leuluai played for London Broncos for two years making 40 appearances, his former team were recently promoted from the Championship after beating Toronto Wolfpack in the Million Pound Game.
“I was happy for them, there’s not too many people that were there when I was – I had some great times and enjoyed it when I first came over.
“I didn’t really expect them to win – it was a really tough trip to Toronto against a really good team, so they’ve done well.
“I’ll have a good trip down to London next year, although a trip to Toronto would’ve sounded good too.”
A Rugby League dream would be to walk out of a tunnel at Old Trafford or Wembley, thousands of fans cheering you on – the centre of attention, a win will be a historic for your club and a moment that will last a lifetime.
Leuluai has already experienced the thrill of these moments and is excited for the prospect of another final and an undisturbed sleep…
“I’m pretty relaxed, I don’t like to get to tense – in the tunnel before the game, you can hear the crowd and the noise – it’s a real cool moment and that’s something you always get a bit nervous about but it’s all good nerves.
“I’ve got a little one at home now, so I don’t get much sleep and I enjoy my sleep but it’s hard before a big game.
“We’ll be sleeping at the hotel, so I won’t have my little one kicking me in my face – so I’m looking forward to that!”