Wigan Warriors exclusive: Kruise Leeming relaxed about England call-ups as he adjusts to life with Super League champions

Ross Heppenstall
Kruise Leeming Wigan Warriors Alamy

Kruise Leeming has penned a four-year deal with Wigan Warriors from 2024 - Alamy

Kruise Leeming is refusing to make any bold claims about playing for England again as he acclimatises to life at Wigan Warriors.

The 28-year-old hooker has joined the Super League champions on a four-year deal following his stint in the NRL at Gold Coast Titans.

The former Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos man has previously voiced his desire to become one of Super League’s best number nines and a regular for his country.

He has spent time in Shaun Wane’s squad, represented England Knights and even played for the Combined Nations All Stars against England not once but twice.

Leeming’s only cap at senior level, though, was in the 30-10 test match win over France in Perpignan in October 2021.

The Yorkshireman was surprisingly omitted from England’s World Cup squad last year with Wane selecting Michael McIlorum and Andy Ackers instead.

Having returned to Super League with Matty Peet’s title winners – and with Wane in the background at Wigan in a leadership role – Leeming is focusing solely on establishing himself at his new club.

“I’ve been guilty in the past of looking too far forward and achieving all my goals in a certain timeframe,” Leeming told Love Rugby League.

“What I’ve noticed as I’ve gone through my career is that you can only actually alter or adjust what you need to be doing right at that moment in time.

“I feel I am capable of playing for England again; I just need to get everything right leading up to that point.

“It’s similar to how my move to Wigan came about. I probably wasn’t on their radar, but then things happened really quickly.

“Matty Peet and I spoke on Zoom, which should have been for 15 minutes, but it ended up being over an hour.

“We spoke about everything in rugby league and life in general. It’s about focusing on the here and now, but Wigan are very good at that.

“If we’re lifting weights for that hour of training, then you do them as strong and as hard as you possibly can.

“Out on the field, let’s just run as hard as we possibly can and everyone be knackered at the end.

“Obviously you have got to have big targets and I’m not saying that I haven’t set myself goals.

“But what I’m saying is that all my energy is not going towards trying to get that golden pot at the end of the rainbow.”

Kruise Leeming: ‘I genuinely believe that Wigan is the best environment to get the best out of me’

England’s proposed three-match test series against Samoa next autumn is still in major doubt, but they are expected to play a mid-season international away to France.

Leeming, who faces competition from the likes of Ackers, Daryl Clark, Danny Walker and Jez Litten for a hooking spot, insisted: “My only thoughts right now are on what I can do to recover after training today to have the best day possible tomorrow.

“I think if I do that, put all these days together and surround myself by the right people, everything else will fall into place.

“From there I and the team here at Wigan will get all the successes that we desire.

“I genuinely believe that Wigan is the best environment to get the best out of me.”

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