Leeds Rhinos sign Tonga international Konrad Hurrell

Konrad Hurrell - joined Leeds Rhinos
Konrad Hurrell - joined Leeds Rhinos

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield is tipping new signing Konrad Hurrell to become a big crowd favourite at Headingley in 2019.

The 27-year-old Tonga international is new head coach Dave Furner's first signing after agreeing a three-year deal with the Super League club.

The 6ft, 16st 7lb Gold Coast Titans centre was in the Tonga side which lost 20-18 to England in the 2017 World Cup semi-final and is in the squad preparing to take on Australia in Auckland on Saturday.

Leeds director of rugby Kevin Sinfield said: "We are delighted to have secured a player of international class like Konrad. Over the years, Rhinos fans have always loved a strong running centre and Konrad certainly fits that bill. He will provide a real strike threat for us in the centres and it is already exciting to think about Konrad and Kallum (Watkins) next season with our new-look options at half-back pulling the strings."

Hurrell, who has scored 55 tries in 116 NRL appearances for New Zealand Warriors and the Titans, will link up with his Tongan team-mate Tui Lolohea at the Rhinos under Furner, a former Tonga assistant coach.

Hurrell said: "I'm looking forward to getting to Leeds and especially having the chance to work with Dave Furner again. I have done a lot with Dave in the Tongan camp over the last few years and he has helped me a lot. I am excited about the move and the next three years. One of my best mates is Nate Peteru and he has told me about what I can expect so I am excited about the move.

"I have spoken to Dave Furner about what he expects from me and he thinks my style will suit the game over there. I just need to do my job; do the hard running and make my tackles and the rest should take care of itself. Part of the attraction for me are the changes that Dave Furner is looking to bring in at the club. He has been looking to recruit quality players to add to the squad and it is an exciting time to be joining the club.

"I haven't managed to win a Premiership ring in the NRL but I feel like I am coming into my prime and the plan is to try and help Leeds get back up to challenging for honours so I can achieve success over the next three years."

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