Thomas Leuluai
Warriors keen to lure home

The New Zealand Warriors are hoping to lure Kiwis hooker Thomas Leuluai back to Mt Smart in 2013, a decade after he made his debut for the club as a 17-year-old.

Leuluai started his career with the Warriors in 2003, becoming the youngest player to appear for the club, but having limited game time behind Stacey Jones and Lance Hohaia.

That prompted him to sign for the London Broncos in the UK Super League in 2005 and he spent two seasons there before moving to Wigan.

He helped them to the 2010 Super League title, their first since 1998, with a man-of-the-match performance in their grand final win over St Helens and is now regarded as one of the league’s best players.

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Wigan are desperate to hang onto the 26-year-old playmaker, who usually plays hooker for the Kiwis but in the halves for his club.

A number of NRL clubs are also said to be interested in securing his services, including the Warriors.

Leuluai could be seen as a replacement for livewire five-eighth James Maloney who is expected to leave Mt Smart Stadium at the end of next season.

But the Warriors are working hard to retain Maloney as well as sign Leuluai. They also have promising halfback Shaun Johnson, who burst onto the scene in the second half of the NRL season, signed until the end of 2013 and hooker Nathan Friend will join from the Gold Coast Titans next season.

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Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah declined to comment on Leuluai but said they were doing everything they could to re-sign Maloney.

Read more at ODT.co.nz