Thomas Leuluai bigraphy, stories - New Zealand rugby league player

Thomas Leuluai : biography

22 June 1985 -

Thomas Leuluai (born 22 June 1985 in Auckland, New Zealand) is a New Zealand professional rugby league footballer who currently plays for the New Zealand Warriors in the NRL. His position is at half-back. Leuluai was a member of the 2008 World Cup winning New Zealand team. He was also educated at Mount Albert Grammar School where he attended school with other fellow albertians who went on to play rugby league professionally such as Sonny Bill Williams, Steve Matai and Tevita Latu.

His father is former New Zealand international James Leuluai, who scored two tries for Hull in the 1985 Challenge Cup final 6 weeks before Thomas was born. His brother Macgraff Leuluai currently plays for Widnes Vikings, his uncle Phillip Leuluai plays for Salford City Reds and his cousin Kylie Leuluai plays for the Leeds Rhinos.

Club career

New Zealand Warriors (2003–2004)

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 debut he was the youngest player to play for the club, coincidentally in the same game Mark Robinson became the oldest player to make his debut for the club.

He had limited first team experience at New Zealand Warriors with competition from New Zealand internationals Stacey Jones and Lance Hohaia. 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.

At the end of 2004, he left the Warriors after playing 21 first grade games and scoring two tries.

Kiwis at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup]]

London Broncos (2005–2006)

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 Wigan.

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 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 (2007–2012)

Leuluai agreed a three-year deal with Wigan Warriors in December 2006 after months of speculation and rumours. He would replace Australia Michael Dobson and partner Trent Barrett in the halves during the 2007 season.

Leuluai made his Wigan Super League debut 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.

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.

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.

The 2011 Wigan Warriors season started against St Helens RLFC in the opening fixture of the season, with his first try coming a week later at Bradford Bulls in Round 2. As well as playing in the 2011 World Club Challenge, Leuluai scored a brace in Round 4 against Salford City Reds. A try against Hull Kingston Rovers was followed with another against Crusaders RL in Rounds 10 and 13 respectively. 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.

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 he had signed a three-year contract with the New Zealand Warriors starting in 2013. stuff.co.nz, 20 November 2011

Representative career

New Zealand national team

Leuluai became the second youngest player ever to represent the Kiwis when he made his debut.

On 9 May 2008 Leuluai played for New Zealand against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the Centenary Test representing 100 years to the day that the New Zealand 'All Golds' first met Australia.

In 2008 Leuluai played for New Zealand in the 2008 World Cup team which won the tournament.

International Origin

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

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine