Rey Lee-Lo excited to play a part in Cardiff Blues development
Samoan international centre to join Welsh region from Hurricanes at the conclusion of the 2015 Super Rugby season in July
Rey Lee-Lo has revealed his excitement at helping to bring success to Cardiff Blues after agreeing a long-term deal with the Welsh region.
The 28-year-old Samoan international, who played for Blues director of rugby Mark Hammett at the Hurricanes franchise in 2013, will link up with his new club at the end of the 2015 Super Rugby season, which concludes in July.
There are some fantastic players at the region and I know Hammer is keen to develop that further and bring success. I look forward to playing a major part in that story over the coming years.
The powerful centre made his international debut against Canada in November, winning his second cap against England at Twickenham, and also played against England for the Crusaders in June.
“I’m excited about the future move to the northern hemisphere to represent Cardiff Blues and the chance to once again play for Hammer,” Lee-Lo said.
“I obviously know him well from our time together at the Hurricanes and I’m delighted to be able to join him in Wales and look to bring success to the Blues.
“I’ve a big season ahead for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and also hope to play for my country in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
“I will then start a new chapter in my career at the Blues.
“There are some fantastic players at the region and I know Hammer is keen to develop that further and bring success.
“I look forward to playing a major part in that story over the coming years.”
Since Hammett’s arrival at the Arms Park in the summer, the Kiwi has strengthened his backline with the signing of Argentine duo Lucas Amorosino and Joaquín Tuculet, as well as Wales-qualified Kiwi outside-half Gareth Anscombe on a long-term deal.
The club are also hoping to secure the future of the pacy Argentines amid the launch of an Argentine franchise to participate in Super Rugby from 2016 and a new selection policy that will see overseas players not considered for international selection.
Rey is a player I know really well from our time together at the Hurricanes and I’m sure he will be a big asset to Cardiff Blues
Lee-Lo featured in the Hurricanes midfield 12 times, scoring one try in his maiden season in Super Rugby under Hammett before joining the Crusaders in 2014, where he played five times.
The highly-rated centre has returned to the Wellington-based Hurricanes for 2015, where he will be a part of a backline featuring All Blacks quintet Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Beauden Barrett, Cory Jane and Julian Savea.
“Rey is a player I know really well from our time together at the Hurricanes and I’m sure he will be a big asset to Cardiff Blues,” Hammett said.
“One of his big strengths is that he’s a powerful man while also being extremely agile and playing with real speed to his game.
“He’s aggressive and, like many Polynesians, enjoys the contact area.
“I coached Rey at the Hurricanes back in 2013 when he was voted rookie of the year.
“That is no small feat when you consider he was competing against the likes of Conrad Smith and Tim Bateman, both outstanding players, for a starting spot in the team.
“Rey has improved every season and also learnt a great deal from his time spent with Tana Umaga at Counties Manukau.
“He will be determined to take this opportunity at Blues and be a big success in Wales.”