Tui Lolohea is hoping for a massive three months as he targets helping Huddersfield Giants to a first Super League Grand Final and shining for Tonga at the World Cup.
The 27-year-old, who represented New Zealand once (in the 26-12 defeat by England at Hull in 2015) before switching to Tonga in time for the 2017 World Cup, when he helped the Mate Ma’a make the semi-finals (they lost 20-18 to England in his home city of Auckland), has made his mark in his first season in claret and gold since switching from Salford, the Giants visitors in Saturday’s play-off eliminator.
Having featured in the Challenge Cup final, Huddersfield are through to the play-offs for the first time since 2015.
Lolohea, who played for New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers before moving to the UK, first with Leeds, in 2019, has caught the eye at fullback after previously starring in the halves.
He’s still not sure which suits him best, explaining: “It’s a hard one. At the minute I’m enjoying fullback, and if Watto (Ian Watson, who also coached him at Salford) wants me there, that’s fine.
“It’s been a consistent year for me, but it’s a team game and it’s the other players who put me in good positions. They bring the best out of me.
“There is still more in me. It’s been my first year of playing pretty much a whole season at fullback, and I’m still learning.”
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