AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 24: Siliva Havili reacts during the Tonga Rugby League World Cup Semi Final Captain's Run at Mt Smart Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The Canberra Raiders have signed Tongan international Siliva Havili on a one-year deal for the 2018 season.

Havili was an instrumental part of the recent Tongan World Cup campaign, as the Tongans progressed to the Semi-Final stage of the tournament where they narrowly lost to England.

He has played 24 NRL matches since making his debut for the New Zealand Warriors in 2014, including 10 matches for the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2016.

Raiders NRL Recruitment & High-Performance Manager said the signing of Havili gives the Raiders NRL squad some more depth in the hooking position, with Josh Hodgson set to miss the start of the season with a knee injury.

“Siliva had a wonderful World Cup tournament for Tonga and he joins the squad to give us some depth to cover the unfortunate loss of Josh Hodgson,” Mulholland said.

“We’re looking forward to him joining the squad and having a solid pre-season with his new club.”

Canberra Raiders 2018 Player Movements

2018 Gains
Brad Abbey (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2019), Cooper Bambling (2018), Craig Garvey (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2019), Kalani Going (2018), Charlie Gubb (New Zealand Warriors, 2019), Setefano Hala (2019), Siliva Havili (St George Illawarra Dragons, 2020), Ata Hingano (New Zealand Warriors, 2019), Corey Horsburgh (2019), Liam Knight (Sydney Roosters, 2020), Sebastian Kris (2019), Michael Oldfield (Penrith Panthers, 2020), Sam Williams (Wakefield Trinity, 2019)
2018 Losses
Kurt Baptiste (Sydney Roosters), Adam Clydsdale (retired), Lachlan Croker (Manly Sea Eagles), Brent Naden (Newcastle Knights), Kato Ottio (Widnes Vikings), Clay Priest (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Zac Santo (New Zealand Warriors), Scott Sorensen (Cronulla Sharks), Dave Taylor (Toronto Wolfpack), Jordan Turner (Huddersfield Giants)
Jarrod Croker (2020), Masivesi Dakuwaqa (2018), Joseph Leilua (2020), Jordan Rapana (2019), Elliott Whitehead (2020), Jack Wighton (2020)
Off Contract 2019
Brad Abbey, Luke Bateman, Ata Hingano, Corey Horsburgh, Royce Hunt, Sebastian Kris, Andre Niko, Brendan O'Hagan, Kyle Paterson, Reuben Porter, Jordan Rapana, Sam Williams, Hudson Young
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      • If I can offer an opinion I think the Raiders will start the game with Siliva Havili and bring Craig Garvey off the bench for impact while Havili will play as lock or in the backrow as required. If I were making the call I would throw the 9 jersey to Craig Garvey and let him play as close to 80 mins as he can manage. I think the kid has far more potential for the role of hooker than Michael Lichaa who kept him out of the position during his time at the Dogs. I think the Dogs used Garvey as a stop gap measure only and he was not given sufficient playing time of opportunities at his 2 years at the Dogs. I think Garvey will do a good job for the Raiders. He is better than Havili IMO (who I am not sold on as a hooker/dummy half) and a definite improvement on Kurt Baptiste.

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