Featherstone pull off major signing in Samoa powerhouse Joey Leilua

Joey Leilua Samoa

Featherstone have signed Samoa international centre Joey Leilua ahead of the 2022 Championship season.

The 29-year-old has made more than 200 appearances in the NRL. He has played for Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights, Canberra Raiders and Wests Tigers. Leilua is a two-time Dally M Centre of the Year.

Leilua has won 15 caps for Samoa on the international stage. He will be hoping to play in his third World Cup next autumn.

On signing Leilua, Featherstone coach Brian McDermott said: “This signing is another clear demonstration of this club’s unwavering ambition and focus on gaining Super League promotion.

“Joey brings a level of  experience and raw ability that is unrivalled in the Championship.

“He’ll add some serious size,  strength and focussed aggression which will help this side go up to another level. I’ve had many conversations with Joey over the last few weeks. We’re looking forward to working together to achieve our Super League objective.”

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Featherstone boss delighted to pull off Joey Leilua coup

Rovers chairman Mark Campbell said: “I’m really pleased that Joey has signed.

“He’s a fantastic acquisition for Featherstone. This is one of the most significant signings in our history, for the  Championship and for rugby league in this country.

“He’s a player in his prime at 29 years old who’s been recognised as one of the best in the game with his Dally M awards. His 225 NRL appearances underline that fact.

“It’s been quite frustrating to see some of the recent comments from fans about new signings. I can tell you now that this is the level at which this club is now operating and there’ll be plenty more to come.”

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Leilua will join fellow Samoa international Jesse Sene-Lefao at Featherstone in 2022. Sene-Lefao has joined Rovers from Super League neighbours Castleford.

Prior to his arrival at Post Office Road, Leilua will take on former England international Chris Heighington in a boxing fight on December 10.

READ MORE: Brian McDermott outlines only objective after becoming Featherstone boss

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