Leeds coach Dave Furner says the signings of Tonga pair Konrad Hurrell and Tui Lolohea are massive for the club and thinks they will impress in Super League.
Centre Hurrell arrives at the Rhinos on a three-year deal from Gold Coast Titans, while Wests Tigers half-back Lolohea also joins on a three-year contract.
The pair boast 15 caps between them for their native Tonga, and Furner thinks they will prove to be a huge hit with the Rhinos supporters.
“I was one of Kristian Woolf’s assistants of the Tonga national team and just seeing them play in that kind of environment was impressive,” Furner said.
“And they had such a buzz playing in front of those massive crowds against New Zealand, Samoa and England. I know from talking to Sammy Burgess and Tommy Burgess that they loved playing in front of them Tongan fans and we saw Konrad Hurrell and Tui Lolohea thrive in that kind of atmosphere and that’s why I think they will suit this team and this club.”
Furner admitted that every single one of the Leeds players will start under a completely clean slate when the squad return for pre-season training on Monday.
“Come Monday, I’ll have a name on a blank sheet and it is up to them to go and fill that blank sheet of how I see them and what I want out of them,” the Australian added.
“I need to get to understand the individuals and I’ve got to try and bring them together as a team, but it will be a blank canvas and that’s all that I’ll be seeing in pre-season.
“There is a blend of really good crop of young kids here, whether they’ve played first-grade or not, they have got the potential to do great things and they have players around them that have got experience, leadership and who are also good people.
“I’m very excited about the current squad and I will have a look at their attitude and the way they train. Building relationships is very important for a coach and I will start on those straight away and get to know the players. It’s exciting.”