Waratahs lock Sam Lousi has signed a multi-year deal that will see him play for the Hurricanes and Wellington Lions through to the end of 2018.
The 24-year-old will head to Wellington at the conclusion of the Waratahs’ Super Rugby campaign and will play for the Lions during the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup before joining the Hurricanes in preparation for the 2017 season.
The Auckland-born former New Zealand Warriors rugby league player said he was looking forward to the next stage of his development after spending a year in Sydney.
“It was a very hard decision to make as the Waratahs have given me the opportunity and I have enjoyed my time there,” Lousi told the Hurricanes’ official website.
“When the opportunity came along to join the Hurricanes and move home it was too hard to turn down. I’m excited to be part of the team next season and also look forward to furthering my career.”
At 1.99m and 128kg, Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd believes Lousi is an exciting prospect.
“Sam is a big, powerful man and has a lot of raw potential so we’re looking forward to helping him develop his game,” he said.
“I’m sure he’ll fit in really well at the Hurricanes.”
Wellington Lions coach Earl Va’a feels Lousi is a player with untapped potential.
“We think Sam can add another dimension to our play,” he said.
“He’s a very effective ball carrier and a good athlete. Our forwards coach Richard Watt and I are looking forward to working with him before he starts the next chapter of his Super Rugby career with the Hurricanes.”
Lousi’s playing background has been mainly in rugby league. He progressed through the New Zealand Warriors age grade teams before making three appearances for the NRL team 2012 and 2014.
He switched codes to Rugby Union last year and joined the Waratahs making his Super Rugby debut in 2015 and playing mainly as an impact this season including a cameo off the bench against the Hurricanes in Sydney last weekend.