Leuluai handed Widnes contract extension

Widnes have handed a two-year contract extension to back-rower Macgraff Leuluai.

Leuluai, 23, is the younger brother of former Wigan half-back Thomas, and the son of former New Zealand international James, and is in his third season with the Vikings.

Head Coach Denis Betts said: “This contract extension is a really good indication of the continued hard work that is going on at the club.

“Macgraff joined us from the Championship, played a big part in our Championship team and from the day he first arrived, he has always displayed a willingness to work hard.

“Now that he’s got a good number of Super League games under his belt, he is really starting to blossom. He has a much better understanding of the top-flight competition, and his effort levels and his ability are shining through because he’s used to playing at that level now.

“What people don’t see with Macgraff is how big his heart is. He might not look as big as some of the other blokes, but I can assure you, he tackles and runs the ball as hard as anybody else on the pitch.

“Given his young age, there is still so much more to come from him and I am really pleased that he has made the decision to remain at the club.”

Leuluai, who was born in Wakefield, was named in the 2011 Championship Dream Team, and made 13 appearances for Widnes on their return to Super League last year.

He has already made 14 appearances this year, and also turned out for Workington on dual-registration earlier in the season.

He said: “I came over initially to live with my brother, and to have at a crack at making a success of it as a player. I’m still enjoying my time over here and I’m excited and pleased to have been offered the opportunity to stay at the club. 

“I’ve got a lot more growing to do and I’m really looking forward to doing this, in a Widnes jersey.

“It’s a good time to be at the club and the only way is up for us. We’ve progressed massively from last year and if we continue to do that at a similar rate, then we will certainly be there or thereabouts over the next couple of years.”

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