Tui Lolohea hopes to inspire Leeds Rhinos charge before facing Britain's Lions

Much is expected of the Leeds new boy after moving from NRL side Wests Tigers as they look to get back to Super League’s summit.

Should Lolohea prove an inspired signing, it is likely he will be in Tonga’s side to face the reborn Great Britain in its first Test in 12 years.

SunSport understands that is lined up as the first match of next year’s tour, with the Lions also facing New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji on Kiwi soil before heading to Papua New Guinea.

And Lolohea believes that can be the next stage for the Tongan side as it tries to join the world’s elite, and its unbelievable supporters who spend games singing hymns.

He said: “Tongan fans for a start – they’re crazy. That’s next level.

“So playing Great Britain would be great for international rugby if we get the opportunity.

“Playing the top teams is what we want and it would grow the international game massively.”

Lolohea, who wants to play at stand-off, also hopes to call new turf at Leeds his own after being handed land on the other side of the world.

After starring for Tonga on their run to last year’s World Cup semi-final, a run ended by England, he was gifted an area by nobles in his family’s village.

And after recalling the Headingley atmosphere when he played there for New Zealand in 2015, he hopes to stamp his authority in West Yorkshire just as he has in the south Pacific.

Lolohea, 23, added: “It’s just land for me to do what I want with. It’s pretty much outside my family’s house in Tonga, so it’s going to be part of me for the rest of my life, then my kids’ lives, then so on and so on.

“I actually signed before David Furner came on board as coach but from what I recall having played here, the fans are crazy, in a good way. Hopefully I get part to be part of it.

“And the number six role is my preference. I’ve been all over the place in my career so far so I’m hoping to come here and play at number six.”


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