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Wests Tigers back-rower Luciano Leilua.

Luciano Leilua hadn't missed a game all season and wasn't going to let the birth of his first child last week get in the way of the Wests Tigers' unlikely push towards the finals.  

Leilua made an all-important dash to the hospital following last week's loss to the Rabbitohs after his partner Fedora went into labour in the early hours of Friday morning.

The 24-year-old could've been forgiven for calling coach Michael Maguire with an intention to withdraw from the side but the late scratchings of older brother Joey (ankle) and Moses Mbye (knee) only hours earlier made the situation difficult.   

"Her water broke at about 6am and I said 'but I've got to play today?'," Leilua said.

"But it was all good, she told me I should be able to play. I thought we were going to have it straight away but it's definitely not like that.

"On the way to the game I was worried and thought maybe I should've stayed but during the game I was focused. I ran off the field after the game, showered and went to the hospital.

"We were in the room for a long time, it was a long labour. I've got a lot of respect now to every woman that has a baby, it's tough."

The proud new parents welcomed their little girl, Ida-Lynn Leilua, on Friday afternoon, keeping Leilua's match count intact and the couple's relationship healthy.

The Samoan forward hasn't enjoyed as much sleep over the past week as a first-time dad and believes the experience will help better him as a person and player.

The joint venture's struggles to reach the playoffs continued this season but Leilua remains optimistic they can turn things around in 2021.

"It's a bit disappointing, overall the whole season was disappointing," he said.

"The last couple of games we've shown the character in how we want to play. Besides not making the finals I feel I've had a pretty good year.

"Madge has played a big part in my footy this year. He's given me a lot of confidence and belief.

"That's what I asked for and he's let me do what I can do."

The 24-year-old shed over five kilograms last off-season in a bid to impress the club after arriving in December and said that was the secret to his longevity on the paddock this season.

"I've just got to take that into the pre-season and make sure I stay in shape … don't gain any daddy weight," Leilua said.

"I needed to focus on my defence [this year]. I think it's gotten better but can definitely take it to another level."

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