Wests Tigers sign Joseph Leilua

Joseph Leilua played for the Canberra Raiders in 2019
Joseph Leilua played for the Canberra Raiders in 2019

Samoan international Joseph Leilua has signed on to play with the Wests Tigers until at least the end of the 2022 season.

The former Canberra Raiders, Newcastle Knights and Sydney Roosters player will join the club immediately on the three-year deal.

The 28-year-old made his first-grade debut in 2020 and quickly established himself as a regular in the Roosters side, playing in the grand final that season.

Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe welcomed Leilua to the club.

"We're delighted to have secured a talented player such as Joseph," Pascoe said.

"He is a player who is of the highest calibre and has already proven to be a remarkable contributor on and off the field to his club, state and country.

"I have no doubt that all Wests Tigers members and fans will be tremendously excited by the addition of Joseph to the team Michael Maguire has built.

"This commitment from Joseph is a fantastic indication of the belief in the direction this club is heading in and the strength of Wests Tigers as an organisation overall.

"We're excited to be able to welcome Joseph alongside his brother Luciano and we look forward to him continuing to grow in the years to come."

Wests Tigers head coach Michael Maguire was delighted with the addition of Leilua.

"I'm extremely pleased to welcome Joseph to Wests Tigers and start working with him," Maguire said.

"He is without doubt one of the most dangerous attacking players in the competition and will take this team's potency to a new level going forward.

"To secure a player of his class and talent for the season ahead is a huge boost for the club and one that will lift this team right across the park.

"I'm extremely confident that the best is also still to come for Joseph.

"He brings a wealth of on-field experience to our team, and we're extremely excited to watch him play in Wests Tigers colours for many years to come."

Leilua was selected in the 2020 New Zealand train-on squad and the 2012 Emerging Blues before making his representative debut for City Origin.

The outside back played 59 games with the Roosters before joining Newcastle in 2013.

He made his debut for Samoa at the Rugby League World Cup that year.

In 2015, Leilua completed a mid-season switch to the Raiders, twice earning a selection in the Dally M team of the year.