David Fusitu’a’s role in Sam Lisone joining Leeds Rhinos

Josh McAllister
Sam Lisone

Sam Lisone says that the prospect of reuniting with good friend David Fusitu’a was a major influence behind his move to Leeds ahead of the 2023 Super League season.

Lisone, 28, makes the switch from the NRL, having most recently featured for the Gold Coast Titans between 2018 to 2022. Previously, he had played alongside Fusitu’a at the New Zealand Warriors.

Fusitu’a, 28, made his debut with the Warriors in 2014, while Lisone made his first appearance just the following season.

The pair have reunited in Super League with Leeds following Lisone’s two-year deal.

Having only arrived in England late in December, the prop forward did not feature in the club’s Boxing Day clash against Wakefield, and has explained the influences behind his move.

Sam Lisone: “I wanted to be a part of this club”

“At the Titans, some issues happened and an opportunity came up over here,” Lisone said.

“I had a good relationship with Rohan Smith, so it wasn’t a hard choice to make. I know what he’s about and that he can bring the best out of his players, so I wanted to be a part of that.

“Seeing what the team did last year, making the Grand Final, I wanted to be a part of that and a part of this club.

“There were a couple of other clubs interested. But my childhood friend David Fusitu’a is at this club. That was another reason why I wanted to come here, alongside Rohan. It’s a great club. 

“I speak to David regularly. I talked to him over the phone at like three in the morning in Australia. We talk all the time. It wasn’t really a hard choice. Once I knew he was here, I wanted to come here.”

Lisone has been given shirt number 15 at Headingley Stadium for the 2023 campaign.

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