The Gold Coast Titans have confirmed that Auckland-born prop Sam Lisone has been granted an early release from his contract to pursue an opportunity in the Super League.

The 28-year-old played 48 games for the Gold Coast since making the move from the New Zealand Warriors at the end of 2019. He's played 133 games of NRL rugby league in total. He also has four caps for Samoa after appearing at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

It's already been confirmed that Lisone will join Super League runners-up Leeds Rhinos on a two-year deal.

A contributing factor to Lisone's decision was likely the opportunity to reunite with some old friends, including Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith, who coached Lisone when he played for the Warriors' under-20s side at the start of his fledgling career.

“I'm excited to join up with the Rhinos,” Lisone said in a club release.

“I've never been to England but I'm keen to get over there. I've heard a lot of good stuff about the club and I can't wait to get over and meet the fans.

“It's a new chapter for me and a fresh start, not just for playing but a new lifestyle in a new country.

"I have a lot of mates in Super League. I grew up in Auckland with David Fusitu'a, he's probably one of the reasons I wanted to come to Leeds, because we were childhood friends.

“Rohan (Smith) and I also had a very close relationship when he was at the Warriors. I've always liked what he was about and the way he trains his teams.

“When he told me there could be a position at Leeds for me, my heart was set on the move straight away.”

While Lisone is excited about the impending move, he's not the only one looking forward to his arrival.

“We look forward to welcoming Sam to the Rhinos," said Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington.

"I would like to thank the Gold Coast Titans and Sam's management team for the professional manner the whole process has been dealt with. I am sure Sam will settle in well at Headingley and become a fan favourite.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great to see Lisone given an opportunity elsewhere. Even when things weren’t going right for him (or the team) he always gave it his all.

  2. I don’t know if I would be heading to the UK, given the state of the nation, the cost of power, the overcrowding, the lower salaries in Super League, and THE WEATHER, but I wish him well.

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