Debut: Vs Salford City Reds (H) 28th May 2004
Honours: Grand Final (Winner: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011; Finalist: 2005), Challenge Cup (Finalist: 2005), World Club (Winner: 2005, 2008; Finalist: 2009, 2010), League Leaders’ Shield (2004, 2009)
Ali Lauitiiti is the most exciting overseas players to have played for Leeds in the club’s long history having won five Grand Finals and two World titles between 2004 and 2011.
Ali joined the Rhinos in May 2004 from NRL side New Zealand Warriors and made his debut for the Rhinos against Salford at Headingley and finished his debut season as a Grand Final winner at Old Trafford.
The following year he scored some spectacular tries including five in one game against Wakefield at Belle Vue as well as helping the Rhinos to their first ever World title.
More history was made in 2009 when Leeds became the first team to win three Super League titles in a row.
After eight years at the Rhinos, Ali’s 200th and final game came at Old Trafford in 2011 as part of another record breaking achievement as Leeds became the first team to win a Grand Final from fifth in the regular season.
Ali made his senior debut back in April 1998 for the New Zealand Warriors. Just two years later he was named the NRL second row of the year. He was selected for the New Zealand for the 2000 World Cup, making a try scoring debut against the Cook Islands at Reading in the World Cup.
Prior to joining the New Zealand Warriors, Ali played for Mangere East club in 1996 and shone as a junior in their U19 side in 1997 scoring 17 tries in 19 games.
He went onto gain international honours with the Junior Kiwis that year and again in 1998. He was an integral part of the Warriors squad that reached the Grand Final in 2002, the first time in the club’s history, however they were to lose out to Sydney Roosters on that occasion. He has appeared in 115 games for the Warriors and scored 33 tries.
He played 18 times for New Zealand, with one of the highlights of his international career coming in 2005 when the Kiwis were crowned the Tri Nations Champions.
He decided to return to his roots for the World Cup in 2008 by playing for Samoa, helping the Islanders qualify for the tournament in 2007 before playing in all three games at the tournament alongside team mate Kylie Leuluai.