Thomas Leuluai is to quit Wigan at the end of next season to head back down under to play for New Zealand Warriors.
The Kiwi scrum-half, 26, who joined Wigan from London Broncos in 2006, has had five successful years at the club.
But he was keen to head back home to be closer to his family and has signed a three-year deal with the Warriors.
"We are obviously disappointed that Tommy has decided to leave Wigan once his current Contract comes to an end," said club chairman Ian Lenagan.
"He is a world-class player and Wigan were extremely keen to persuade him to stay and extend his contract further.
"We made every effort to do so including an exceptional financial offer.
"In saying that, we fully understand and respect his desire to return to Auckland to play in the NRL in front of his family whilst still at the peak of his playing career."
Leuluai, who got the match-clnching try in Wigan's Challenge Cup win over Leeds at Wembley in August, said: "I will be very sad to leave Wigan at the end of next season.
"But it always been my desire to return home to be with my family at some point and joining the New Zealand Warriors is a great opportunity.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed playing in Super League, and with Wigan in particular and I am really looking forward to ending my time over here with further success in 2012.
"This is a really exciting time under our new head coach Shaun Wane and I want to reassure everyone that I am fully committed - as ever - to give my all during next season."