10th July 2018, 10:34 | Leeds
23-year-old Tongan international half back Tuimoala Lolohea signs for Kevin Sinfield’s side on a three-year contract.
Lolohea was part of the New Zealand squad who played the Rhinos at Emerald Headingley prior to the Kiwis taking on England in a three-game series later in the tour.
He joined Wests Tigers midway through the 2017 season from the Vodafone Warriors and has made 71 appearances in the NRL.
Lolohea said: “I have always remembered that game back in 2015 when I played at Emerald Headingley with the Kiwis. The singing and support for the Leeds boys was amazing and I can’t wait to play for those supporters.
"That game was Kylie Leuluai’s farewell game for the club and I remember the warmth and passion the supporters had for him and the team, that was special. People talk about the passion that the English fans have for the game but I had seen it for myself and it was definitely a factor when I was thinking about who to sign for.”
He added: “I am really excited, it is a long way from home but a different challenge for me and something I am looking forward to. I want to be part of the Rhinos team and I can hopefully bring my energy to the game over there.
"It will be very different for me and a new way of life. I am still really young and this is a big journey for me and I want to make the most of my career and my time in England."
Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield said: “We are delighted to have captured a player of the quality of Tui for next season. It is rare in the modern game for any Super League club to sign an international class 23-year-old from the NRL and I am sure he will be a popular addition to our squad.”