Leeds Rhinos signed Fijian international forward King Vuniyayawa, 25, on a one year contract ahead of the 2021 Betfred Super League season.
The 6’2”, hard running middle joins from NRL side New Zealand Warriors having made his debut for the club last season with five appearances in the NRL. He played for Fiji in 2018 against Papua New Guinea and was in the Fiji team for games against Samoa and the Kumuls again in 2019, the latter as part of an impressive win in Christchurch that saw Fiji promoted to the Oceania Cup.
Vuniyayawa will be hoping to be part of the Fiji side at the Rugby League World Cup 2021 in England and help them to progress in a pool that includes reigning Champions Australia, Scotland and Italy. Fiji will be hoping to at least equal their achievements in the last World Cup in England back in 2013 when they reached the last four before eventually losing to the Kangaroos at Wembley in the semi final.
Vuniyayawa grew up playing Rugby Union after his family, which includes five brothers and two sisters, moved from Fiji to New Zealand. He switched to playing Rugby League after high school after seeing Fijian superstar Jarryd Hayne in action at the 2008 World Cup.
He signed for the Warriors from his local club, Manurewa Marlins, having playing in the New Zealand domestic competition. He also played for Auckland clubs Papakura Sea Eagles and Howick Hornets.
After making his NSWRL debut for the Warriors in 2018, he was due to join NRL side Manly before he was unable to take up the opportunity. However, that was the Warriors gain as he was available in 2020 to make his debut with the Auckland-based side.