Leeds keen on Wellington Albert

Drew Darbyshire

Leeds are interested in singing Widnes forward Wellington Albert, Love Rugby League understands.

The Papua New Guinea international has left the Vikings after being made redundant, although it has yet to be officially confirmed.

He has struggled to get into the Vikings’ team during his time there, but Love Rugby League understands there is genuine interest from the Rhinos to sign him.

Albert signed for the Vikings ahead of the 2018 season alongside his brother Stanton, who made just one first-team appearance before returning to the PNG Hunters last year.

The 24-year-old front-rower signed a two-year contract extension with Widnes following the club’s relegation from Super League last September, but has left the Vikings in the wake of the club’s financial crisis.

Albert was the first Papua New Guinean player to be signed by an NRL club without having played junior rugby league in Australia when he signed a deal with Penrith Panthers back in 2014.

He has earned five caps for the Kumuls and played in the 2013 and 2017 World Cup tournaments.

The Rhinos have also confirmed the signings of Widnes academy pair Sam Walters and Jarrod O’Connor for an undisclosed fee.