Leeds Rhinos: Hauraki held up by red tape

Kiwi recruit Weller Hauraki has admitted he is "frustrated" at being entangled in red tape.

The New Zealand Maori forward is still awaiting a new visa, more than two months after signing for Leeds Rhinos from rivals Crusaders.

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Though Hauraki spent last season playing in engage Super League, he had to reapply because of his change of clubs.

He is able to train with Rhinos and has not had to leave the country, but can't play until the paperwork is processed.

With 19 days to go until Rhinos' first game of the new season, being entangled in red tape is taking its toll.

"I have got the papers to say I can go and do my biometrics, but I am still waiting for the visa, still going through the process," Hauraki confirmed.

"It is really frustrating, especially when you are a new signing for a club and you just want to go out there and put the jersey on and show what you can do.

"I have got a job to do and I can't do it."

The player has been given no indication when the issue might be resolved. "Hopefully it comes before the Millennium game," he said. "I would love to play (against Crusaders) on Friday. There's no problem, it is just a slow process.

"I think Christmas and new year slowed it down, but hopefully it will come as soon as possible."

Despite the delay, Hauraki said he is "settling in really well" at Leeds.

He added: "The family have moved over here, to Moortown and as soon as your family's here you settle in well.

"I really like it at Leeds and it helps that there's some others (fellow Kiwis) here, especially for my wife.

"As long as your wife and that are happy, you are a lot happier. We've really been welcomed to the club, I am just dying to put the shirt on and get out and play some footy."

Samoan international prop Kylie Leuluai, who is preparing for his fifth season at Rhinos, is also awaiting visa clearance after having to reapply on time grounds.

Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "They've both had a letter telling them to go for their biometrics (fingerprints) and that's confirmation the process should be coming to an end.

"There's an urgency to get them both sorted, so they can play this week. It is frustrating for all concerned, but unfortunately there's nothing we can do to speed up the process."

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