Wigan boss Adrian Lam thinks Tommy Leuluai is playing too well to retire

As Tommy Leuluai prepares to make his 300th appearance for Wigan in Friday’s last match of the regular season, the veteran half-back has been told he is playing too well to retire.

The 35-year-old New Zealander is out of contract at the end of the season and has yet to announce if it will be his last as a player before he joins the Warriors’ backroom staff but, if the decision was up to head coach Adrian Lam, he would be playing on in 2021.

“Last week I thought he played his best game of rugby in my time here,” Lam said.

“With Tom it’s a year-to-year proposition, it’s in his own hands the decision and, with his relationship with the club, that can be left to the last minute.

“He’s respected very highly by the players. He’s part of our leadership group and I go to him a lot for feedback and a lot of the times in selecting players.

“He knows he’s getting a little bit older now but is he ready to call it a day? Not at all.”

Leuluai, now in his second stint with Wigan, was a try-scorer in an 18-6 win at St Helens last Friday that enabled his side to go top of the table and they will secure the League Leaders’ Shield with victory over Huddersfield at Headingley.

Aiming to stop them – and hand the trophy to Saints – is former Wigan scrum-half Luke Robinson, the Giants’ caretaker coach who was once under the wing of Lam and being groomed as his successor until being moved on to Salford.

“I think they got that wrong,” Lam said. “He was under me in my last two years at Wigan and I spent a lot of time talking to Luke.

“I respect him very highly. He was a great player and a great competitor and he’s certainly made a difference at Huddersfield.”

Huddersfield are guaranteed to finish seventh following the decision to deduct Salford three wins for a breach of insolvency rules and so will be on standby for the play-offs in case any of the six clubs above them are unable to complete their fixtures due to the pandemic.

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