Leeds Rhinos have treated me like royalty says King Vuniyayawa

LEEDS RHINOS’ new signing King Vuniyayawa has thanked the club for making him feel like royalty after essentially giving him an entire hotel to himself.

Fit for a king: Fiji international King Vuniyayawa says he has been made to feel really welcome by Leeds Rhinos. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The Fiji prop, who arrived in Yorkshire this week after joining from New Zealand Warriors, is in quarantine at Headingley Lodge, the hotel in the Super League club’s home stadium.

He must complete five days in isolation and then give a negative test for coronavirus before being cleared to meet his new team-mates.

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Vuniyayawa, 25, is currently the hotel’s only guest and has a full floor to himself including a makeshift gym, living room and five days worth of food.

“My body is still adjusting to the time difference, but the club has been amazing,” he said.

“I am grateful for what they’ve done.

“They have made it easy for me. I was really looking forward to coming over and I can’t wait to get on the pitch with the boys.

“I know the competition here is not any different to the NRL, I rate it very high.”

Vuniyayawa made five NRL appearances last term and, if things go according to plan, he will start training with Rhinos on Monday as they build up to their Super League kick-off against Wakefield Trinity at Headingley on March 27. Vuniyayawa has signed a one-year deal and revealed former Australia second-row Matt Adamson – who helped Rhinos win their first Super League title in 2004 – encouraged him to make the move.

Adamson coached him for Fiji and Vuniyayawa explained: “He said ‘I really enjoyed it and you will love it, with the fans and how the club will treat you’.

“I really rate Matt Adamson; he gave me my international debut for Fiji and I really trust his words.

“I am looking forward to seeing what the coaching staff can bring out of me here.

“I want to be the best player I can be, that’s what I am looking forward to right now.

“I reckon I will enjoy my footy over here a lot.”

Wakefield Trinity have confirmed a home friendly against Dewsbury Rams on Sunday March 14.

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