Leeds Rhinos' David Fusitu'a opens up on injury setback and hopes of Super League return at Salford Red Devils

Test winger David Fusitu’a says he is fit and ready to make an impact for Leeds Rhinos.

By Peter Smith
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:45 am

A big-name signing from New Zealand Warriors in the off-season, he has played only three times for Rhinos, having been concussed in round one against Warrington Wolves and then undergone knee surgery following his second comeback match, at home to Hull, two months ago.

Fusitu’a could have played in Rhinos’ most recent game, against Hull KR 11 days ago, but Leeds were without a match last weekend and it was decided to give him an extra two weeks’ recovery time.

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David Fusitu'a is tackled by Max Jowitt in Rhinos' win at Wakefield two months ago. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

“It is starting to come right,” Fusitu’a confirmed of his recovery.

“I was a chance to play last week, but the medical staff thought it would be good for me to use the Challenge Cup round to get a bit more running into me and look towards playing against Salford.”

Of the injury, Fusitu’a revealed: “I had a meniscus tear, I had an old tear there when I was at my previous club, the Warriors.

“It affected me a little bit, but not too much so we didn’t scan it, so I didn’t know what it was.

David Fusitu'a has suffered head and knee injuries this year. Picture by Tony Johnson.

“We came over and I re-tore it again, so we decided it would be best to get it done.

“It is only a minor surgery and a minor injury, but if you leave it it will kind of linger.

“We got it done and thankfully my knee feels really good.

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David Fusitu'a has not played since Rhinos' home loss to Hull in March. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

The 27-year-old said he’s confident there will be no ill-effects from the knee damage when he gets back on the field.

“I am still going to have to work on my rehab’ and strengthening it,” he stated.

“Anything can happen on the field, but as long as I do my bit and make sure I am fit and ready and I’ve done all I can, then I can just focus on playing.”

Rhinos are on a two-game winning run, but Fusitu’a admitted it was hard watching before that, when they won only one of their opening 10.

“Credit to the boys who have been in there,” he added. “It hasn’t been the best time, but we’ve started to find our feet a bit I think.

“It definitely gives us a chance to kick-start our year again.”

Sunday’s fixture will be Rohan Smith’s first as Leeds coach, but Fusitu’a has worked with him in the past.

He said: “I had a little bit of experience with Rohan a while ago, when he was one of the assistant-coaches with the Warriors.

“I am definitely looking forward to working with him.

“He has had a bit of success over in Australia, I have been keeping tabs on a few of my good mates who have played under him and it’s cool to see where he’s at and the vision he has for our team.”