Rhinos boost pack with Seumanufagai signing

Leeds Rhinos have boosted their forward pack with the signing of 27-year-old Cronulla Sharks prop Ava Seumanufagai on a two and a half year contract. 

The 18-stone front rower has played 118 games in the NRL for Wests Tigers and the Sharks. Originally from Wellington in New Zealand, he joined the Sharks in 2018 having spent five seasons at the Tigers making his NRL debut back in 2013. 

A hard-running, no nonsense type of forward, Seumanufagai was a regular in the Sharks forward at the start of last season making 13 appearances. He also played for Newtown Jets, where he was an integral member of the team that reached the Intrust Super Premiership Grand Final.

Commenting on the signing, Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield said, “We are delighted to get the deal finally done to sign Ava. He is a player we have been monitoring for a while and it is good that we have secured him until the end of the 2021 season. Ava is a big player with a great work ethic. I would like to thank Cronulla Sharks for their help in getting the deal agreed and we look forward to welcoming Ava into our group once all the necessary paperwork has been completed.” 

Seumanufagai, who originally played for Parramatta as a junior, says he is looking forward to his new life in the Super League competition. He commented, “I am really excited to be joining the Rhinos. I have been speaking to Kevin Sinfield for a while and I know a few blokes who have been over at Leeds and they have loved it at the club, so I am really looking forward to coming over. 

“I like to play the game hard and aggressive, I like to get my job done and I enjoy the physical side of the game. I know the Rhinos have had a tough start to the new season but I have been in teams that have had tough starts before and I know how rewarding it is when you turn your season around and achieve something as a group. The Rhinos current form certainly wasn’t something that concerned me in terms of my long term decision to come to the club. That is the challenge and I am looking forward to doing my job. Once the paperwork is completed I will be heading over and I am keen to get started as soon as I arrive.”