New Featherstone Rovers signing Joey Leilua hints at future plans

New Featherstone Rovers signing Joey Leilua has hinted that he wants to continue boxing next year in Australia despite moving to the UK for the 2022 Championship season.

Leilua, who played five seasons with the Canberra Raiders as well as two with the Wests Tigers, revealed that a former English teammate gave him the confidence that he can more than deal with the English weather.

“It’s kind of like Canberra, it’s cold there, I think I can handle it in England,” Leilua told the Sporting News.

“Johnny Bateman, when he came to Canberra, said, ‘It’s not cold like this in England.’ So I should be sweet.”

Leilua has 225 NRL games under his belt as well as appearances in two Grand Finals, but the Samoan international wants to continue boxing even after rediscovering his love for rugby league.

“It’s given me direction. I’m going to enjoy my time there and whatever happens after that happens,” he said.

“I’m just going to go there, play good footy and see what happens. But I always want to do boxing. Hopefully I’ll come back next year and do another set of boxing.”

New head coach Brian McDermott is also keen to see Leilua keep up his boxing, even if it means a late arrival in the UK.

“Brian said, ‘As long as you’re doing boxing you can come over next year,’” the 29-year-old continued.

“The comp starts in late-January, so I’ll be hitting the ground running.”

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