Warriors recruit Leivaha Pulu to fulfil 'dream' of playing for Auckland club

New Warriors recruit Leivaha Pulu can't wait for the NRL season to begin so he can fulfil his 'dream' of representing the club. 

The powerful forward signed a three-year deal with the Auckland club in May after two seasons with the Gold Coast Titans.

Pulu's journey to becoming an NRL player has been a long and challenging one. After playing Under 20's football with the Tigers, he spent a few years playing in the ISP Premiership [formally NSW Cup]. This included an off-season in France before finally earning a contract with the Titans In 2016.

But after 45 games with the Titans, and the opportunity to come home, the 27-year-old can't wait for the season to get underway.

"It has always been a dream to play for the Warriors. Growing up in Auckland," Pulu told Newshub. "I started league at a late age but watching the Warriors come through the ranks, they have been one of those teams that everybody wants to play for.

"This is where I have been born and raised in Auckland and the Warriors are based in Auckland so this is my home and my heart is where my home is.

"Just to be back home, I can't explain. It's just that feeling that you want to run out and have your family there to support you so exciting times ahead."

Pulu is expected to bring much-needed aggression and go-forward to the Warriors forward pack - something they desperately lacked in 2017.

In 22 games last season, the Tongan international scored four tries and averaged 86.9 meters per game while completing 89 percent of his tackles.

Leivaha Pulu on the charge for the Titans.
Leivaha Pulu on the charge for the Titans. Photo credit: Getty Images

He is hoping to use his skills on the field and play his role to lead the Warriors to their maiden title.

"I'd like to be a part of a team where it would be the first premiership. That's our goal main goal for 2018 and beyond so it will be massive to be a part of a team that wins their first premiership.

"I will bring my game, keep working hard, be more of a voice and let the player on the inside and outside of me know that whatever happens, I'll be there.

"I just want to bring my hard work and keep ticking away."

His hard work during pre-season hasn't gone unnoticed with Warriors coach Stephen Kearney praising Pulu for his effort on the training paddock.

"Leivaha has a wonderful energy about him and he is really keen to break into that 17 and that's what you want to see," Kearney said.

"The way that he has been this pre-season has gone he has given himself every opportunity to be a part of that round-one squad."

Kearney has brought in a number of players during the offseason as he looks to build a squad which suits his style of play.

In doing so, a number of spots for that round-one squad are still up for grabs.

Pulu knows if he sticks to what he knows best, he can make the squad for the Warriors season opener in Perth against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

"I don't want to come out and try to do everything at once and stick to the plan the process on what the Warriors want me to do and do my job, not everyone else's."

The Warriors face the Melbourne Storm in their opening trial match on February 16 in Rotorua, and then play the Gold Coast Titans on February 24 on the Sunshine Coast.