Leeds Sign Marcus Bai

Leeds Rhinos have signed Papua New Guinean winger Marcus Bai on a two-year contract, with the Melbourne Storm favourite moving to Headingley at the end of 2003. The long-serving winger is Melbourne's leading try scorer, having crossed the whitewash six times this season and 65 times since their inception in 1998.

A former Port Moresby Vipers and Gold Coast star, he has previously played in Britain with Hull in 1996, and also represented Papua New Guinea in the last two World Cup's, scoring three tries in four games in 2000.

"Marcus is a great signing for us for next season," said Leeds coach Daryl Powell. "He a massive player, in every sense of the word, and will bring a great deal to our squad for 2004.

"The signing of a top class winger will mean that we have competition for every position in the team next season which will maintain our current policy of a competitive, challenging squad.

"He is a strong, powerful runner who I am sure will become a firm favourite with the Rhinos fans."

Bai will follow Huddersfield's Stanley Gene and Wigan's Adrian Lam as Papua New Guineans in Tetley's Rugby Super League, and he recently surpassed the latter's NRL appearance record for his nationality.

"I am really looking forward to the challenge of playing for Leeds," said Bai. "I am very excited about going to England and playing in Super League for one of the biggest clubs in the world."

Leeds announced the re-signing of winger Francis Cummins on Wednesday, and they now have their entire current first team squad contracted for next season, with only Richard Mathers yet to pen a new deal.

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