HEARING new overseas recruit Tui Lolohea wants to rediscover his running game will be music to the ears of Leeds Rhinos fans.
After a dismal 2018, they are certainly hoping to see more panache on show at Emerald Headingley next season and the Tonga stand-off has promised to deliver.
Lolohea has joined from NRL side Wests Tigers on a three-year deal and flew in yesterday, heading straight to the famous venue.
Although he can play anywhere in the backline, the 23-year-old is expected to feature at No 6 alongside England scrum-half Richie Myler, as rebuilding Leeds bid to start a new era under incoming head coach Dave Furner.
“I pride myself on my running game,” said Lolohea, who has also been capped by New Zealand.
“It wasn’t where it has been the past season but I am hoping to bring it back. The first thing Furnsie said to me is we’ll hopefully get you back into your running game. That’s one of my strengths and we will see how it goes. A couple of injuries held me back a bit this year (in the NRL).
“Hopefully I can come here and get on top of my pre-hab’ and re-hab’ and get back to playing some of my natural footy: my running game, working well with the team and getting the defence right.
“That’s something I learned really well from the NRL; defence wins big games. It’s big for me this season; if I get my defence right I know I can play football on the back of that.”
The former New Zealand Warriors star is the first of Rhinos’ three overseas signings to arrive in England with marquee recruits Konrad Hurrell and Trent Merrin expected in the next fortnight.
Meanwhile, Dewsbury Rams scrum-half Gareth Moore has retired at the age of just 29 to concentrate on his business, while Featherstone Rovers have resigned former Toronto forward Jack Bussey and he can play after he completes a ten-game ban.