4 July 1982|
Auckland, New Zealand
|Height||182 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||113 kg (17 st 11 lb) |
Jeff Lima (born 4 July 1982) is a former professional rugby league footballer who last played for the Canberra Raiders in the National Rugby League. A New Zealand international representative prop, he previously played for Wests Tigers, Melbourne Storm (with whom he won the 2007, and 2009 NRL grand finals), and South Sydney Rabbitohs, and the Wigan Warriors, and Catalans Dragons of Europe's Super League, as well as France's Elite One Championship for the Saint-Gaudens Bears.
Lima was born in Auckland, New Zealand.
Of Samoan heritage, Lima was educated at Auckland's De La Salle College, Mangere East. His junior club was the Mangere East Hawks. Lima moved to Sydney where he attended Patrician Brothers' College Blacktown.
Professional playing career
Lima made his début in the National Rugby League with Sydney's Wests Tigers club, scoring a try as the team defeated the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. In the next round, he was again chosen to play from the bench, but it was to be his last first-grade appearance for the club.
Lima was rewarded for his good form throughout the 2007 NRL season's finals with selection on the interchange bench for the Storm's victory in the 2007 NRL grand final as well as the New Zealand national side to play Australia on 14 October.
Lima played from the interchange bench in the Storm's 2009 NRL grand final victory over Parramatta. He then played at prop for Melbourne's victory over Super League champions Leeds Rhinos in the 2010 World Club Challenge. However, months later, these and all previous honours achieved by the Melbourne club during Lima's time there were stripped by the NRL when long-term systematic breaches of the salary cap at the club were uncovered. Lima and his teammates were also prevented from playing for premiership points in the 2010 NRL season as the club tried to offload players to bring them within the salary cap. In July 2010, Lima signed with English Super League club Wigan Warriors.
In Lima's first season with Wigan they reached the 2011 Challenge Cup Final and playing at prop forward he scored two tries and became the fifth ever New Zealander (and first prop forward since 1980) to win the Lance Todd Trophy as man-of-the-match.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
In October 2015, it was revealed that Lima would be joining the Canberra Raiders on a two-year contract starting in 2016. In September 2017, Lima announced his retirement from rugby league with his final game being for the Mount Pritchard Mounties in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW elimination final against Illawarra.
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