David Fusitu'a: Tonga winger joins Leeds on a two-year deal
Fusitu'a scored 61 tries for New Zealand Warriors but has appeared sparingly over last three season; His hat-trick helped Tonga beat New Zealand at 2017 World Cup; Leeds coach Richard Agar: "I think he will be a great addition."
Last Updated: 18/10/21 7:07am
Leeds have announced the signing of Tonga winger David Fusitu'a on a two-year contract from New Zealand Warriors.
The 27-year-old Fusitu'a, who was the Warriors' longest-serving player, had two years left on his contract with the Auckland club and it is thought the Warriors will pay a proportion of his Leeds salary.
Fusitu'a, whose hat-trick famously helped Tonga beat New Zealand in the group stages of the 2017 World Cup, scored 61 tries in 108 appearances for the Warriors.
But he has played just 28 times in the last three seasons due to injury and returning home from Australia early in 2021, due to the border restrictions enforced by the global pandemic.
Leeds coach Richard Agar said: "We are really excited to have signed David and I think he will be a great addition to our team.
"Undoubtedly, he is a world-class talent, you only need to look at his highlights reel and see the spectacular tries he can score to know he will soon become a crowd favourite at the Rhinos.
"In the modern era, it is rare that a player of his ability becomes available for a Super League club and it is a great boost for us to have beaten off competition from a number of clubs to have secured his signature.
"He is still only 27 and, whilst we understand the reasons why he has not played as much football as he would have liked last season, having spoken to him, he is keen to return to his best in a Rhinos shirt.
"He is a player who loves to play with a smile on his face and I know he and his young family are looking forward to being part of the Rhinos family."
Leeds say Fusitu'a will join up with them in pre-season once the visa paperwork has been completed.
"It is going to be something new and fresh," Fusitu'a said. "Me and my family are excited to come over to England.
"Leeds have been a proud and successful club for a long time and I am looking forward to getting over, meeting the boys and starting the hard work with the team."