Leeds Rhinos secure Zane Tetevano as marquee man

Leeds Rhinos have finally secured the services of Zane Tetevano.

The Kiwi international joins the Challenge Cup winners on a three-year deal and will become the club’s marquee player.

Tetevano, who played in the NRL Grand Final with Penrith Panthers this year, arrives after ten years in the NRL and a year after making his debut for New Zealand, playing in their victories over Great Britain in 2019.

His arrival brings an end to Leeds’ year-long search for a forward. Head coach Richard Agar has been in pursuit of a dominant prop throughout the year but has finally secured his man in the shape of the 30-year-old, who fielded interest from several other clubs.

But Leeds are understood to have splashed the cash to secure Tetevano in a deal that will see the forward earn in excess of £200,000 per year.

“Once we became aware of Zane’s availability, he was our number one priority to strengthen our squad for next season and we are delighted to get the deal done,” said Leeds, Director of rugby Kevin Sinfield.

“I would like to thank Penrith Panthers for their co-operation to complete the move. We have got an exciting crop of young players coming through at the Rhinos and to add a current international with a proven track record of winning will give our group a tremendous lift. We look forward to seeing Zane in blue and amber in 2021.”

Agar added: “Zane has played in tremendous club sides over the last four seasons winning minor Premierships and Grand Finals. He is a current starting international. It has been a deal that has taken a number of weeks and I would like to thank Penrith Panthers for the professional manner they have dealt with the whole process. Our patience has been rewarded and Zane is a player who will add a massive all round contribution to our team.”

Tetevano commented:  “My personal motto is that I like to be challenged and this move is the next challenge for me. I have had my time in the NRL and had some amazing opportunities and been part of some incredible teams. I am excited to be coming to Leeds. I have been doing my research on the history of the club so I have an emotional connection with the highs and lows of being a Rhino.”