Dolphins snap up Tonga international ahead of inaugural NRL season

Drew Darbyshire
Tesi Niu Tonga PA

Photo: Will Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

The Dolphins have signed Tonga international Tesi Niu ahead of their inaugural season in the NRL following his release from Brisbane.

The 21-year-old was released from his contract by the Broncos, with the club allowing him to take up his opportunity with Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins.

Niu scored 11 tries in 32 appearances for Brisbane, having made his firs team debut for the club in 2020.

The Brisbane-born full-back or centre will link up with the Dolphins with immediate effect ahead of their first-ever NRL campaign.

Dolphins chief executive Terry Reader said: “We obviously know Tesi very well as he is a Brisbane-born player we have watched come through the grades and become an NRL regular and an international.

“We now have a strong list of outside backs with players such as Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Euan Aitken, Brenko Lee, Edrick Lee, Jamayne Isaako, Oliver Gildart and Robert Jennings all part of the Dolphins’ foundation squad.

“This group will compete for spots in that first Dolphins’ team to play the Roosters – and with the trials only four weeks away, that competition will start very soon.

“We have always said that January would be a busy month for recruitment and bringing Tesi into our squad is a great acquisition.”

Brisbane give their best wishes to homegrown star Tesi Niu

Broncos coach Kevin Walters said: “Tesi has been in the Broncos system for a number of years and is highly regarded across the club.

“But we believe he will receive more opportunities elsewhere and it’s an indication of our respect for Tesi that we have allowed him to depart.

“We wish Tesi all the best in the next part of his journey.”

Niu has won three caps for his beloved Tonga, playing in his first World Cup last autumn. He scored a hat-trick in their 92-10 win over the Cook Islands in Middlesbrough.

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