Lauitiiti is the Rhinos most successful overseas player of all time having won four Grand Finals since joining the club midway through the 2004 season. Next season will be his seventh at the club and the 30-year-old is currently studying for the Life in the UK Test by the UK Border Agency as part of his application to become a British citizen.
He admits that he has surprised a few of his team mates with his new found knowledge, “I think I know a bit more than some of the guys who were born and brought up in England! I am doing all the paperwork at the moment and learning all about British citizenship. I have loved my time here in England and all my children have been born here, this is their home. “That is the main reason why I am going for British citizenship so it will help them in later life to come back to Britain if we ever return to New Zealand as a family,” added Lauitiiti.
The test includes questions such as where are Geordie, Cockney and Scouse dialects spoken and what is the Church of England and who is its head. Lauitiiti must also memorise what and when are the Patron Saints’ Days of the four countries of the UK plus know what the House of Lords is and who are its members.
Whilst revision might be taking up Lauitiiti’s spare time, he is now back in pre-season training with the Rhinos and admits that he is looking forward to the new season. He was a replacement in the Grand Final last October but his game only lasted four minutes before an ankle injury ruled him out for the rest of the game. He is philosophical about the injury though, he added, “I was disappointed with how the Grand Final went for me but in saying that the boys won and that is the main thing. That has left me with a bit of unfinished business for next season and hopefully I can have a big year in 2010.
“We are back in pre-season. I am not a big fan of pre-season, some players love it, some players hate it, I’m in the second camp. But you have to put the work in and it is the work that you do now that keeps you going during the season,” added Lauitiiti.