Vila Halafihi extends stay at Hunslet

James Messenger

Hunslet have announced that utility player Vila Halafihi has signed a new deal for 2020.

The 25-year-old joined from Bradford ahead of the 2019 campaign and made 17 appearances in all competitions, scoring four times.

He is most comfortable playing at hooker but can also operate at loose forward, halfback or second row.

Hunslet finished fifth last season, suffering defeat to Workington in the opening week of the play-offs. Nevertheless, Halafihi was named their 2019 Player of the Year and Coach’s Player of the Season.

He said: “I had a good year personally and a reason for that was that Head Coach Gary Thornton gave me plenty of game-time, which I hadn’t really enjoyed at my previous clubs.

“I was a much better player through having regular rugby and playing every week, sometimes operating at hooker and loose forward in the same match. That helped me find myself as a player, and it’s one of the factors that persuaded me to stay.

“It’s a hard division to get out of but obviously if we can crack last year’s poor home form we’ll be very much in the mix.

“It was good to get the personal awards last year but I’d have swapped them for gaining promotion, and that’s got to be the target in 2020.”

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