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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.
Warriors secure Lousi brothers
by NRL

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.

SIONE LOUSI
Born: October 8, 1989
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Position: Second row
Height: 191cm
Weight: 106g
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

SAMIUELA LOUSI
Born: July 20, 1991
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Position: Prop/Second row
Height: 198cm
Weight: 118kg
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




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