Composed Robert Lui ready to shine for Leeds Rhinos

NEW SIGNING Robert Lui believes Leeds Rhinos will be a “different” team when he makes his debut on Sunday.

The Australian stand-off comes straight into the struggling side against Catalans Dragons at Headingley following his midweek capture from Salford Red Devils.

Troubled Leeds – joint-bottom at the start of this round – are desperate for him to make an instant impact and turn their campaign around. On his move, former North Queensland Cowboys star Lui, 29, admitted: “It’s happened quite quickly.

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“The interest was always there from Leeds but after I played against Castleford and then over the weekend... boom, boom, boom and suddenly I’m here.

Robert Lui: Former Salford player is set for his Leeds debut on Sunday. (Picture: Chris Mangnall/

“But I don’t mind that; I love being here. I needed a change – what I did at Salford I loved and I’m older and wiser, and I know what I’ve got to do here at Leeds.

“I’ve got to have faith in the coaches, be there for the boys... and come Sunday, I think we’ll be a different team.

“My priority is to help Leeds get out of trouble.”

Tonga stand-off Tui Lolohea went the other way in the deal and Lui – who has been such a force over the last four years for Salford – added: “My composure is hopefully what I’ll bring.

“When it gets real quick, we don’t have to chase a try straight away; we can score later on.

“All I need to do is get the balls in the corner, turn up in defence, bring some energy out wide and hopefully we’ll get the results.

“I’ve liked the way Leeds have played; I’ve always watched them even when I’ve been in Australia, so to come here and be a part of it is amazing. I’ve been a fan having watched them in Grand Finals and can’t wait to pull the jersey on and represent Leeds on Sunday.”

Unfortunately, though, there will be no fond farewell for Rhinos captain Kallum Watkins.

He was supposed to make his final apperance against Catalans before joining Gold Coast Titans.

However, the game takes place after the midnight deadline for registration in the NRL on June 30, meaning the England international has left early for Australia.

Interim Rhinos coach Richard Agar said: “It’s a big disappointment for us and Kal that he’s not able to have one last game at Headingley. We wish him well.”

Australian forward Trent Merrin takes over as captain.