Leutele’s NRL return confirmed

Toronto centre Ricky Leutele will return to the NRL with immediate effect, having signed a deal with Melbourne Storm until the end of the season.

He is fourth player to leave the Wolfpack of late, with Andy Ackers and Liam Kay joining Salford and Wakefield respectively, and Sonny Bill Williams set to confirm his switch to Sydney Roosters.

The news comes just a day after Toronto had their Super League Participation Agreement terminated for 2020, following the club’s decision not to participate in the remainder of the season.

They will now have to prove to Super League that they are worthy of a place in the 2021 competition before a new Participation Agreement can be agreed.

30-year-old Leutele has been a standout for the Canadian side since signing at the start of 2019, and leaves having scored 18 tries in 27 games.

Throughout lockdown, however, the relationship between club and player seem to have turned sour, with the Samoan international reportedly being served an eviction notice after the Wolfpack stopped paying his rent, as well as being owed around £40,000.

He returns to the competition where he made his professional debut for Cronulla, making 129 appearances over nine years.

He said: “Just want to say thank you to the Storm for the opportunity to come back. My family and I are very excited about joining the Storm family.

“I can’t wait to get into camp and meet the lads and get amongst it all.”