Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Former Wests Tigers centre Joseph Leilua recently fired back at reports that had emerged suggesting he was back at the club on a train and trial deal.
Following his response to said reports, the Samoan International took to his Instagram page and released a statement on his future.
“I made my NRL debut in 2010, and have proudly represented every team I have played for with pride and the best of my ability,” said Leilua.
“I have also proudly represented and captained Samoa, as well as winning the Dally M Centre of the Year.
“Every athlete goes through a lack of form, as I have, I am not lazy, nor am I shifting the blame on anyone else.
“My non-activity for the majority of the year has been a blessing.
“It has allowed me to refocus mentally and physically, putting myself around positive people.”
Joey Leilua’s time at the Wests Tigers’ is over, snubbing an embarrassing cut-price offer and singling out coach Michael Maguire on his way out 👀 via @BulldogRitchie. https://t.co/SI48rWmC8T pic.twitter.com/e3Ehk0pK7W
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) October 19, 2021
Leilua would then go on to mention how he is training to make his family proud and reinforce that the reports of his return to the Tigers are indeed false.
While going back to the Tigers is not happening in Leilua’s immediate future, The Daily Telegraph seems to know what is, as they are reporting the 29-year-old is looking for a move to Major League Rugby in the United States.
“Leilua now looks set to pursue opportunities in rugby union after he rejects the train and trial contract worth a measly $1000 a week,” stated the report.
“The Telegraph understands Leilua will reject the Tigers’ offer and try to continue his career playing rugby union in America.
“Another option for Leilua is to try his luck securing a deal in the Super League.
“However, sources close to Leilua believe he will cut up footage of him playing in the NRL to send to prospective US rugby clubs from the 12-team Major League Rugby competition.
“Leilua’s fall from grace is simply stunning given he has twice been named the Dally M Centre of the Year in 2016 and 2018 while at the Raiders.”
The report deems this move from Leilua a “fall from grace”, but if the options of staying in the NRL and a move to Super League were there and he still chose to offer his services to MLR clubs, then Leilua is simply doing what he feels is best for him going forward.