Lousi gets to work in Townsville
Friday, December 2, 2016
The list of new Mendi Blackhawks recruits is looking even more impressive with the addition of ex-New Zealand Warrior Sione Lousi.
Lousi, 27, will bring six years and 50 games of NRL experience to the Blackhawks squad.
The utility forward has landed in Townsville and has landed on his feet, gaining employment with Blackhawks major sponsor Mendi Group.
Lousi said he is enjoying his new home, and his new job fixing heavy vehicles.
“When I was playing 20’s I was doing my apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic, so it fell right in place when I came up here,” Lousi said.
“The boys here are really good and I’m really enjoying my time here.”
Mendi managing director Jeff Doyle praised Lousi as valuable member of the organisation.
“He’s been a few weeks and been very receptive of our culture,” Doyle said.
“He’s accommodated us as much as we’ve accommodated him, he’s not a passenger.”
The Tonga international was sidelined for the Warriors in 2016 after a knee injury in round nine that required reconstructive surgery.
Lousi said he is excited to be apart of the Blackhawks squad and is looking forward to getting back on the park for his new club.
“I’m really itching to get out there and play with what seems to be a good club and good team,” Lousi said.
“The fire is still burning inside me to get back on the field.
“I think I spend more time on the sideline than on the field in my (NRL) career, so as long as I get my body right I should be good.
“My first priority is to get my knee right and do my best for the Blackhawks.”
Coach Kristian Woolf said there was no denying the talent Lousi would bring to the Blackhawks side.
“He’s got a fair footy pedigree behind him and he’s got a lot of potential,” Woolf said.
“He’s a big bloke which helps in our game, he’s very skillful and he’s very intelligent.
“I’ve got no doubt that if we keep him healthy here that he’s not only going to be an outstanding player for us, but has the potential to be one of the best players in the competition.
“If we can do that the plan is we have him for nine or 10 months, shaking his hand and then sending him on to an NRL club.”
For now, Lousi said he’s just enjoying settling into his new life in Australia, and trying to get use to the heat.
“I thought I had to cut my hair the first day I was here,” Lousi said.