Wigan have announced the signing of utility Thomas Leuluai for the 2017 Super League season after he was granted an early release from his NRL contract with the Warriors.
The 31-year-old New Zealand international, who left Wigan at the end of the 2012 edition of Super League, rejoins them next year but the length of the contact has not been specified.
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said it was always part of a long-term plan for Leuluai to return to the club and that he would have a place on the coaching staff when he eventually retired.
Leuluai, whose wife Natalie is the sister of former Wigan centre Darrell Goulding, had also been linked with St Helens but says a return to Wigan was always his preference.
“With my wife being from Wigan and us having a newborn baby, I thought for my family it would be better for us to be back in England,” he said.
Leuluai, who spent two seasons with London Broncos before joining Wigan in 2007, made 189 appearances and scored 60 tries for them and was a member of their grand final and Challenge Cup final winning teams.
He was in his second stint with the Auckland club, for whom he had became their second youngest debutant in 2003, and had another year left to run on his contract.
Leuluai will be reunited at the DW Stadium with Sam Tomkins, who also cut short his time at the Warriors to return to Wigan.