Lauitiiti extends Rhinos deal

New Zealand international forward Ali Lauitiiti has agreed a two-year extension to his current contract with Leeds Rhinos which will see him stay at Headingley until at least the end of the 2008 season.

The 26-year-old Lauitiiti, who joined the Rhinos last season from New Zealand Warriors, had another year left on his deal but Leeds have moved quickly to tie him up long term after he had been linked with a return to Australia?s National Rugby League.

?Ali is a tremendous talent and an integral part of our squad,? said coach Tony Smith.

?The news that he has agreed to a contract extension is a great boost to us and shows the determination within this group of players to stay together and achieve their goals over the coming months and years.?

Lauitiiti, who is expected to be in the New Zealand squad for the British leg of the Gillette Tri-Nations Series, said: ?I am really happy for this opportunity and to be part of the Rhinos.

?My wife Janina and baby Salome are settled in Leeds and we are really looking forward to the next three years.?

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