Super League right up new Leeds Rhinos’ signing Tetevano’s street

NEW Leeds Rhinos recruit Zane Tetevano believes Super League is going to be perfect for his style of play.

NEW Leeds Rhinos recruit Zane Tetevano believes Super League is going to be perfect for his style of play.

The New Zealand prop, 30, arrived in the UK last Tuesday after signing from Penrith Panthers and is currently quarantining ahead of joining up with training this week.

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Having played in two of the past three NRL Grand Finals, current Kiwi Tetevano is rated as one of the world’s best front-rows.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Super League,” he said, admitting the influence of Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield was crucial.

“I got a phone call to say Kev was pretty keen to have me at Leeds.

“When you get a phone call from Kevin Sinfield, this is the GOAT [greatest of all time] of Super League.

“I spoke to my partner about it and she said we’ve experienced a lot of things we wanted to at home and it was time to come over here and go for another challenge.

Ready to go: New Leeds Rhinos signing Zane Tetevano. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

“It came out of the blue, it was surprising, but at the same time exciting. I felt I was ready to rock and roll and try something new.

“I want to thank Kev for that phone call because it means a lot to me and my family.”

Challenge Cup winners Leeds are looking to reclaim the Super League title for the first time since 2017.

They have progressed under Richard Agar and Tetevano is looking forward to a less conservative style compared to NRL.

Big influence: Leeds Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield

“It is a bit more ad-lib footy, throwing the ball around,” said the forward, who played in all three Tests for the Kiwis against Great Britain in 2019 but could revert back to the Cook Islands, with whom he played in 2013, for the World Cup this year.

“In defence everyone’s just banging each other, which is down my alley.

“I am looking forward to one day being able to run out at Headingley with the crowd there, because I have seen a couple of videos, which excited me.

“I know Super League is hard, I believe it is fast and physical, which I like and I am looking forward to it.”

The deal was announced on Christmas Day but Tetevano has been training with Penrith while awaiting clearance to head over to the UK.

Sinfield hopes he can have the same sort of impact that Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai once did in the Rhinos front-row.

And there is no doubting Tetevano’s desire to succeed with Leeds due to kick-off the new season against Wakefield Trinity in less than a month’s time.

“I am not here to muck around; I am here to get a job done,” said the former Sydney Roosters star.

“I am ready, fully fit and healthy. I just want to get connected with the team and make sure I am putting my best foot forward.

“I want to make sure I leave a mark. There’s going to be some good times and some tough times, but I know the boys are going to work hard for each other.

“The coaching staff is great and we’ve got young men who are willing to go that extra yard.”

Meanwhile, former Leeds, Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants and England hooker Shaun Lunt, 33, has announced his retirement.

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