LEIGH boss Paul Rowley has joked that with new recruit Fuifui Moimoi may need some tips on how to understand ‘Leyth’.
The former Parramatta Eels forward arrived in Leigh on Wednesday but was soon on his travels again to meet his new team-mates at a training camp in Lanzarote.
Moimoi had lunch with the Centurions players on Thursday having been accompanied on his flight by Leigh’s director of rugby Derek Beaumont and director Allan Rowley.
“I couldn’t wait to meet Fuifui and neither could the players,” said coach Rowley. “He knew all about me and all about Leigh Centurions but to have him with us at last is great.
“I’ve spoken to him at length on the phone and although he doesn’t have a problem with English, I think maybe the Leigh dialect will take some getting used to.
“Maybe I’ll have to get Lee Hansen or Tau Liku in as translators.”
Hansen and Liku - both Tongan forwards - made their home in Leigh after coming over to play for the club in the 1990s. The pair were part of the committee which welcomed Moimoi and his Tongan team-mates to Leigh for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Their training base was in Leigh and they also played at the Sports Village against the Cook Islands.
Liku’s son Elliot plays in Leigh’s Reserves side while Lee’s son Jack has joined the reserves squad for 2015.
Leigh’s capture of Moimoi made headlines both here and in Australia when it was announced last November.
The 35-year-old played more than 200 times in the NRL and has also represented Tonga and New Zealand at international level.
In an interview, Moimoi used the phrase “I love the smash” which has since been used on Centurions merchandise such as mugs and scarves. The Twitter hashtag #lovethesmash has also been used in marketing material.
‘Moimoi 8’ is also the most popular name and number for printing on Leigh replica shirts, just ahead of Liam Kay.
Moimoi is expected to make his Leigh debut against Wigan Warriors in a friendly at the Sports Village on January 18.