New Leeds Rhinos signing David Fusitu’a enamoured himself to the Headingley crowd almost immediately with some barnstorming runs out of defence and big hits in the West Yorkshire club’s victory over Hull FC at the weekend.
An athletic and dominant presence out on the wing, the Tongan international looked mightily impressive in the 50 minutes he had on the field, as if he had settled in seamlessly.
Of course, uprooting his family to travel halfway across the world is no easy decision to make, but Fusitu’a stressed that the end of 2021 was as good a time as any.
“It felt like it was a good time for me to have a fresh start,” Fusitu’a said.
“I hadn’t played too many games in the past couple of seasons at the (New Zealand) Warriors.
“It was good for me to bring my family over here and experience this side of the world and see some new things and meet some new people – it’s been awesome so far.”
For Fusitu’a, it was Richard Agar who sealed the deal for the move, with an excitement around the place something which the 27-year-old couldn’t turn down.
“I think having a talk with the coach Rich and chatting through the direction he’s got and where the team is heading (sealed it for him).
“He talked me through the group of young players, it’s an exciting place to be and there’s a lot of competition around training.”
Among his new teammates is potential England star Harry Newman and the Tongan cannot wait to play outside of him after having a taster in Leeds’ victory over Hull FC at the weekend.
“He’s rapid and he’s really explosive,” Fusitu’a continued.
“He’s a freakish player from what I’ve seen so far and just some of the things he can do.
“You could see the run he made on the weekend before he picked a little injury, it was really incisive.
“I’m looking forward to playing outside him.”