In search of greener pastures, players often seek out a move that will benefit their career. For former NRL forward Ephalahame Lauaki, he has done that, signing a 2-year deal with English Championship side, the Bradford Bulls.
In a handy Christmas present for Bradford fans, the forward joins the Bulls from NRL club Manly and has enjoyed previous stints with the New Zealand Warriors, Super League side Hull FC and internationals as a Tongan representative.
Having also played for the Wigan Warriors and with two representative games for the Exiles team to his name, Lauaki is excited about the challenge that lies ahead.
â€œI am so excited to be joining such a big and well-known club like Bradford,â€ said Ha’apai-born Lauaki.
â€œI believe I will bring some experience and toughness to our team and I cannot wait to get started.”
His goal is to start in the 17 but he knows that there is hard work to be done.
â€œThe Championship is a challenge I am looking forward to. We will be going up against some good teams, who will be certainly looking forward to playing us,” said Lauaki.
â€œThere is a really solid squad in place at Bradford but I want to be in the 17, which means I have plenty of hard work ahead of me.”
Knowing what he is capable of, the signing also excites Bulls coach, James Lowes.
â€œHe has an explosive approach and comes with an ability to wreak havoc in short spells,” said Lowes.
â€œEpalahame gives us something I believe we don’t currently have. He certainly adds to an already impressive squad and will prove vital for some of our young and upcoming forwards.”
With several young forwards at the club, signing Lauaki gives them an experienced mentor to follow.
â€œWe have a young roster, so the experience he brings will certainly help aid the future progress of the likes of Dan Fleming, Samir Tahraoui and Karl Davies,” said Lowes.