General Vodafone Warriors secure Lousi brothers


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Vodafone Warriors secure Lousi brothers
Talented twin towers Sione and Samiuela Lousi have set a goal to line up together in the NRL after signing new contracts to stay with the Vodafone Warriors for at least two more seasons.

Second rower Sione made his NRL debut as a 20-year-old last year while his sibling Sam (19), rated one of the club’s most exciting prospects, is tipped to join him in the near future.
Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Dean Bell today confirmed Sione has been secured for the 2012 and 2013 seasons with an option for 2014 while Sam has been signed until the end of the 2013 season.
“It’s really exciting and also important for us to have Sione and Sam signed up,” said Bell.
“As players with real potential, they’re both great examples of the benefits of the development policy we are committed to at the Vodafone Warriors.
“Sione and Sam have been in our system for a while now and have prospered by coming through the pathway they have here in New Zealand.
“There was a lot of interest in them from other clubs but they both see their immediate futures here at the Vodafone Warriors.”
At 198cm, Sam Lousi is the tallest player on the Vodafone Warriors’ books and, at 118kg he’s also close to the heaviest while his older brother Sione, “only” 191cm and 106g, is hardly small. Lined up side by side, they make an imposing brotherly package.
Sione, who was in the club’s inaugural NYC squad in 2008, made 26 appearances for the Vodafone Junior Warriors before being upgraded to an NRL contract in 2010 after he turned 20. He impressed in last year’s trials, being rewarded with his NRL debut against Gold Coast in the opening round of the season.
He was again in eye-catching form in this year’s trials but has been sidelined since the final hit-out against Manly with a rib injury. He’s due to be available again soon.
“It’s great to have my contract sorted out. I love being at this club and living in Auckland with my family and friends here,” said Sione.
“I always wanted to play for the Vodafone Warriors in the first place and now I just want to give myself the chance to play a lot more in the NRL.
“It would also be good if Sam and I could get to play together in the NRL. That’s a big goal for us.”
Sam excelled for the Vodafone Junior Warriors’ NYC premiership-winning side last year, standing out with his exceptional off loading ability. His only try was in the grand final win against South Sydney before he went on to star for the Junior Kiwis against the Junior Kangaroos.
He’s equally keen to pair up with his brother on the field. They never played together in the NYC with Sione finishing up in the competition before Sam started with the Vodafone Junior Warriors last year. They also missed out teaming up in this year’s NRL trials; Sam was given his first run with the first-grade side against Burleigh in Whangarei last month but Sione wasn’t in the line-up that day.
“I’d love the chance to play with Sione in the NRL. That would mean a lot for both of us and for our family,” said Sam.
“The only time we’ve ever played together was at school. I’ve always been one step behind so it would mean everything if we get to play together for the Vodafone Warriors one day.”
In that sense, they share a common goal with the Rapira brothers Sam and Steve, who were on the field together during this year’s trials but are yet to play alongside each other in the NRL. So far three sets of brothers have made official first-grade appearances for the Vodafone Warriors and all also played together in the same side at some point in their time at the club – Tea and Iva Ropati, Jerry and Anthony Seuseu and Vinnie and Louis Anderson.
The Lousi boys, who have four sisters, have both come through the Bay Roskill and Richmond clubs in Auckland while they were also both educated at St Paul’s College, a prolific nursery for New Zealand rugby league talent with its graduates including Stacey Jones, Joe Vagana, Nigel Vagana, Jerome Ropati, Francis Meli and more from the modern era as well as former Kiwi captains Mark Graham and Dane O’Hara.


Born: October 8, 1989
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Position: Second row
Junior Clubs: Bay Roskill Vikings, Richmond Rovers
Club Number: 159
NRL Debut: Vodafone Warriors v Gold Coast, Skilled Park, Robina, March 14, 2010 (Round 1)
NRL Career: 7 appearances 2010
NRL Points: 0
Representative:One Test for Tonga 2010


Born: July 20, 1991
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Position: Prop/Second row
Junior Clubs: Bay Roskill Vikings, Richmond Rovers
NRL: Yet to make debut
NYC Career: 20 appearances 2010-2011
NYC Points: 4 (1 try)
Representative:Junior Kiwis 2010


At 15, Sam had virtually every NRL club interested in him. Sam was an 80 minute player back then and was 6'4 and 110kgs as a 15 yr old.

If the Warriors hadn't signed Sione, I doubt Sam would've stayed here as it's likely he'd got a better offer elsewhere. His father and manager were smart to only sign him up for a few years originally so the Warriors would have to resign him before his NYC time was up.

He wasn't the best player in even the Auckland juniors though, Lance Sua Poe outplayed him every time they faced off (Lance was a second rower then) and it was the same story for Sepiti Afu who's now at Melbourne and also playing second row. Theo Stuart who's now playing prop for the Panthers, kept Sam out of the NZ U16s. Ben Murdoch was probably the most talented of that bunch, he could do anything, kick goals, play in the halves and on the wing as well as in the forwards. In hindsight, Sam was always going to go further if he kept growing. If he'd got any bigger though, he'd have had to go to rugby as league would've been too fast for him. Just the extra 8kgs and 2 inches in height have slowed him down considerably.


Where are Ben Murdoch and Lance Sua Poe now, Viking?

Ben Murdoch is Ben Murdoch-Masila at the Tigers who played in their NRL finals games last year. He's either injured now or play NSW cup but is still eligable for NYC this year. Unfortunately he'll probably spend most of his career as a battering ram now whereas he has the speed and skills to play on the fringes. He was an insanely talented kid from Otahuhu who went off the rails a bit but got a chance to go to Keebra in his last year of school and won the Arrive Alive Cup then kicked on at the Tigers.

Lance is with the Warriors NYC and played against Parramatta at Eden Park but looked to have picked up another knee injury during that game, he's missed most of the last two seasons with bad knees and has only racked up 4 NYC games in the last 3 years. Like Sam, he grew too fast and was more effective at 110kgs than he is now which would be 120kgs. He has more game nous than Sam who is more of an instinctive player hence the offloads at the wrong time etc. Someone on LU posted that Lance put Packer on his bum in opposed training last year which Russell was really unhappy about.


lol@Packer being upset at getting sat down...

Sam Lousi will be the star of these two imo. I'd lok at moving him to the Props in the next year or so if they're aren't already.

David Bragg_old

I was impressed with Sione in the cameo appearances he made last year and in the first trial this year.He had a high work rate and was effective in what he did.I hope when he does reappear he can be allowed to roam on the fringes the way we should also be using Ta'ai and Mateo


I was impressed with Sione's work rate in the Manly trial as well. I liked the way he fought to stand up and play the ball, winning a penalty late in the tackle count and close to the Manly line.


Good signging for the Warriors for the Lousi brothers.

Very hard to say whether players reach full potential. Based on size alone you'd want Sam in your team but then its another to coach the best out of him.

Have kept an eye on Lance Sua Poe but never really got to see the best from him in the past 2 years. As for Sepiti (Junior) Afu after he was released by Melbourne in 2009 he had a child and ballooned up. He was deceptively fast and a very powerful runner. Has taken him awhile but he is back to training and over the off season managed to get set up for GC Titans. They are definitely the cellar dwellers for the juniors in my opinion.

Theo Stuart was definitely one to look out for in 2009. But with ill discipline, injury, and I guess letting the 2009 NYC championship get to his head he may have stuttered his progression in to a NRL contract. He was released from the Melbourne Storm in 2010 and is now with the Penny Panthers. Injured half this season and looking unlikely to gain a NRL contract with any outfit. Tohu Harris pretty much became the forwards game breaker as Theo and Jordan McClean picked up injuries in 2010.

Agreed that Ben Murdoch was probably the most talented of that bunch. He shows lots of grit and will likely see lots more NRL game time in 2012.

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