Joseph Leilua

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Joseph Leilua
Joseph Leilua.jpg
Leilua playing for the Knights in 2013.
Personal information
Full nameJoseph Ikenasio Poiva Leilua Kelemete[1]
Born (1991-12-12) 12 December 1991 (age 27)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight104 kg (16 st 5 lb)
Playing information
PositionCentre, Wing, Second-row
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2010–12 Sydney Roosters 59 20 0 0 80
2013–15 Newcastle Knights 54 30 0 0 120
2015– Canberra Raiders 78 35 0 0 140
Total 191 85 0 0 340
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2012 NSW City 1 0 0 0 0
2013–17 Samoa 13 3 0 0 12
As of 4 March 2018
Source: [2]

Joseph "Joey" "BJ" Leilua (born 12 December 1991) is a Samoan international rugby league footballer who plays as a centre and wing for the Canberra Raiders in the NRL. A New South Wales City representative, he previously played for the Sydney Roosters and the Newcastle Knights.

Early years[edit]

Leilua was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. He is of Samoan descent.

Leilua played his junior rugby league for Hurstville United before being signed by the St. George Illawarra Dragons. In 2010, Leilua joined the Sydney Roosters. Leilua played for the Roosters' NYC team in 2010, scoring 3 tries in 4 games.[3] In 2009, he played for the Australian Schoolboys team.[4]

Playing career[edit]

Leilua playing for the Roosters in 2011.
Leilua playing for the Knights in 2013


In Round 12 of the 2010 NRL season, Leilua made his NRL debut for the Sydney Roosters against the Gold Coast Titans off the interchange bench in the Roosters 30-16 win at Cbus Super Stadium.[5][6] In Round 19 against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Leilua scored his first and second NRL career tries in the Roosters 36-32 win at ANZ Stadium.[7] In the Roosters 2010 NRL Grand Final match against the St George Illawarra Dragons, Leilua played on the wing in the 32-8 loss.[8] Leilua finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 17 matches and scoring 3 tries. He was also selected in the New Zealand training squad for the 2010 Four Nations but did not make the final squad.[9]


Leilua finished the 2011 NRL season with him playing in 23 matches and scoring 11 tries for the Roosters.


In January 2012, Leilua was named in the New South Wales Emerging Blues squad, pledging his alliegence to Australia.[10] On 22 April 2012, he re-signed with the Roosters on a 2-year contract.[11] Leilua was described as "one of the best on field" NSW City in the annual City vs Country Origin match, playing centre in the 24-22 win at Mudgee.[12][13] In Game 1 of the 2012 State of Origin series, Leilua was named 19th man for the New South Wales team.[14] He finished the season with him playing in 19 matches and scoring 6 tries. At the end of the year, Leilua was again named in the New South Wales Emerging Blues squad.[15]

In October, Leilua was arrested after being accused of breaching an AVO, spitting on his ex-girlfriend, and distributing lewd photos of her.[16] He was released on $6000 bail. He was then placed on a one-year good behaviour bond after being found guilty of sending nude photos of his former girlfriend to her brother and a friend.[12]

On 18 December 2012, Leilua was released from his Roosters contract due to disciplinary reasons.[17] On 22 December 2012, Leilua joined the Newcastle Knights.[18]


On 5 March 2013, Leilua officially signed a 2-year contract with the Knights starting in the same year.[19] In Round 6 of the 2013 NRL season, Leilua made his club debut for the Newcastle Knights against the Penrith Panthers at centre in the Knights 8-6 win at Hunter Stadium.[20] After playing a few more weeks playing in the Knights New South Wales Cup team, Leilua cemented his centre position after regular centre Timana Tahu was dropped to the New South Wales Cup for the rest of the season. Leilua return to the Knights first grade squad in Round 10 against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, scoring his first club try for the Knights in the 44-8 win at Hunter Stadium.[21] Leilua finished his first season with the Newcastle Knights with him playing in 19 matches and scoring 13 tries. He was selected to represent Samoa in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, held in England and Wales.[22] Leilua made his international debut for Samoa against New Zealand at centre, scoring a try in Samoa's 42-24 loss at Halliwell Jones Stadium.[23] Leilua played in all 4 matches and scored a try in the tournament.


In February 2014, Leilua was selected in the Knights inaugural 2014 Auckland Nines squad.[24] On 22 April 2014, Leilua re-signed with the Knights for a further two years, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2016 season.[25][26] In Round 26 against the St George Illawarra Dragons, Leilua played his 100th NRL career match, scoring a try in the Knights 40-10 win at Hunter Stadium.[27] Leilua finished the season with him playing in 22 matches and scoring 11 tries . On 7 October 2014, Leilua was selected in the Samoa final 24-man squad for the 2014 Four Nations series.[28] Leilua played in all 3 matches and scored a try in the tournament.


In the pre-season, Leilua was reportedly on the outer with new Knights coach Rick Stone, after he returned to training overweight and was rumoured to have had a run-in with the senior Newcastle player Beau Scott about his attitude and fitness.[29][30] On 2 May, he played for Samoa against Tonga in the 2015 Polynesian Cup, playing at centre in Samoa's 18-16 win at Cbus Super Stadium.[31][32] On 14 May, he executed a clause in his contract, releasing him from the final year of his Knights contract, making him a free agent for 2016.[33] On 15 June, he was granted a release from his 2015 contract mid-season, allowing him to join his new team effective immediately.[34] On 17 June, he joined the Canberra Raiders mid-season for the rest of the year.[35] He made his Raiders debut in Round 16 against the New Zealand Warriors, in the Raiders' 30-8 loss at Mount Smart Stadium.[36][37] He finished off 2015, having played in 19 games, 13 for the Knights and 6 for the Raiders, and scoring 6 tries, all for the Knights.[38][39] On 13 November, he re-signed with the Raiders on a 3-year contract.[40][41]


In Round 8 against the Wests Tigers, Leilua scored his first two tries for the Raiders in their 60-6 win at Canberra Stadium.[42] During the season, Leilua and his wing partner Jordan Rapana became one of the most destructive duos of year, scoring and setting up some fantastic tries and their strong friendship outside the footy field labelling them as “Leipana”.[43][44] In Round 26 against the Wests Tigers, Leilua produced the pass of the season by scooping up a loose ball and was able to get an arm free in a tackle with Tigers winger Josh Addo-Carr on him to flick the ball behind his back to Jordan Rapana who finished off to score to the try in the 52-10 win at Leichhardt Oval.[45][45] On 26 September 2016, Leilua was named the Australia 2016 Four Nations train-on squad but later dropped out due to a hamstring injury.[46][47] On 28 September 2016, Leilua was named as the Centre of the Year at the 2016 Dally M Awards night, a significant uprise from being in the lows of falling out of favour at the Newcastle Knights at the start of 2015 NRL season.[48][49] Leilua finished his solid 2016 NRL season with him playing in 25 matches and scoring 11 tries for the Raiders.


In Round 6 against the Gold Coast Titans, Leilua played his 150th NRL career match and scored a try in the 42-16 win at Robina Stadium.[50] On 6 May 2017, Leilua played for Samoa in the test against England, starting at centre and scoring a try in the 30-10 loss at Campbelltown Stadium.[51][52] On 7 June 2017, Leilua extended his contract with the Raiders to the end of the 2020 season.[53] Leilua finished the 2017 NRL season with him playing in 24 matches and scoring 10 tries for the Raiders. On 6 October 2017, Leilua was selected in the 24-man squad for Samoa in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.[54] Leilua played in all 4 matches, starting at centre in Samoa’s disappointing campaign.[55][56] At the end of the season, there was rumours that Leilua was set to be forced out the Raiders to join the Gold Coast Titans to ease their salary cap after a hot-and-cold mixed form year.[57]


  1. ^ "Leilua arrested after ugly bust-up". Sports News First. 28 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Joseph Leilua - Career Stats & Summary". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  3. ^ {[1] Archived 18 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Australian Schoolboys v Great Britain Community Young Lions - 1st Test aCTioN PHoTo'S". Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  5. ^ "Sydney Roosters Beat Gold Coast Titans 30-16". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  6. ^ "Joseph Leilua's Journey From School to NRL Finals in Space of Year". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  7. ^ "Roosters claw back to pip Dogs". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  8. ^ "Roosters Lead the Dragons 8-6 at Halftime". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  9. ^ "New Zealand squad named for Four Nations". 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  10. ^ "Campese named in Emerging Blues squad". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  11. ^ "NRL Roosters re-sign Leilua". 2012-04-22. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  12. ^ a b Michael Chammas (18 December 2012). "'Bad attitude' BJ let go by Roosters". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Lowdown on City-Country Clash". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  14. ^ "NSW Captain Paul Gallen Almost Certain to Play". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  15. ^ "NSW Blues 2013 Emerging State of Origin Squad". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  16. ^ Michael Carayannis, Emma Partridge (29 May 2012). "Leilua charged with assaulting ex-girlfriend". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  17. ^ Michael Chammas (2012-12-18). "Joseph 'BJ' Leilua sacked by Roosters". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  18. ^ "Why Sacked Rooster BJ Leilua Joined Wayne Bennett's Newcastle Knights School of Reform". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  19. ^ "Knights officially sign Joseph Leilua | NRL". 2013-03-05. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  20. ^ Brett Keeble (2013-04-13). "Smith in strife as Knights nullify Panthers". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  21. ^ "Rampant Newcastle Knights Destroy Quiet Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  22. ^ "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup 2013: Samoa name Super League duo". 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  23. ^ Cartwright, Phil (2013-10-27). "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup 2013: New Zealand 42-24 Samoa". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  24. ^ "Squads For Auckland Nines". 14 February 2014. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  25. ^ "Newcastle Centre Joey Leilua Rejects Warriors Bid and Re-signs with Knights". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  26. ^ "Joey Leilua re-signs with Knights | NRL". 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  27. ^ "Newcastle Knights finish season on high with thrashing of toothless St George Illawarra Dragons". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  28. ^ "Toa Samoa name Four Nations squad". 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  29. ^ "'Unfit' Joey Leilua faces chop, says Newcastle Knights coach Rick Stone". 2015-02-13. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  30. ^ June 15, 20157:43pm (2015-06-15). "Knights target new signing as Leilua joins Raiders". Retrieved 2016-10-15.
  31. ^ "Sam Kasiano Try Saving Tackle Secures Pacific Test Win for Samoan's Against Tonga". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  32. ^ "Representative Round team lists". 2015-05-03. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  33. ^ "Leilua departing at season's end - Knights". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  34. ^ "Knights and Leilua part ways - Knights". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  35. ^ "Sign Joseph Leilua". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  36. ^ "NRL Late Mail: Raiders v Warriors". Retrieved 2015-06-27.
  37. ^ "NRL 2015 - Round 16". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  38. ^ "Custom Match List". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  39. ^ "Custom Match List". Rugby League Project. 2015-08-19. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  40. ^ "Raiders re-sign Joey Leilua | NRL". Zero Tackle. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  41. ^ Jon Tuxworth (2015-11-13). "NRL: Fitter, leaner Joey Leilua re-signs with Canberra Raiders for three years". Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  42. ^ Jon Tuxworth (2013-02-13). "NRL: Jordan Rapana runs rampant as Canberra Raiders thrash awful Tigers". Retrieved 2016-04-24.
  43. ^ Polkinghorne, David (16 September 2016). "The 'Leipana' bromance between Jordan Rapana and Joey Leilua driving the Canberra Raiders' finals charge". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  44. ^ "Raiders jokers keep doing serious damage". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  45. ^ a b "NRL 2016 video: Raiders centre Joseph Leilua produces the pass of the season". 4 September 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  46. ^ "Joseph Leilua sends Australian coach Mal Meninga Four Nations message". 3 October 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  47. ^ Dutton, Chris (4 October 2016). "Mal Meninga says injuries ruled Jarrod Croker and Joey Leilua out of Kangaroos". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  48. ^ Dutton, Chris (28 September 2016). "Dally M Medal: Ricky Stuart, Jarrod Croker and Joey Leilua's pain eased with awards". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  49. ^ Chammas, Michael (23 September 2016). "I wasn't enjoying footy or life: Joey Leilua's stunning Canberra Raiders transformation". Retrieved 25 August 2017 – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  50. ^ Polkinghorne, David (9 April 2017). "Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart says Joey Leilua is the best right centre in the NRL". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  51. ^ Helmers, Caden (28 April 2017). "Canberra Raiders centre Joey Leilua named for Samoa in Pacific Test". Retrieved 25 August 2017 – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
  52. ^ "NRL stars deliver for Bennett's England". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  53. ^ "Joey Leilua Canberra Raiders re-signs as NRL contract drive continues ahead of 2018 season". 7 June 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  54. ^ "Lafai, Winterstein into Samoa squad". 6 October 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  55. ^ "Samoa coach rues wasteful RLWC campaign". Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  56. ^
  57. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (10 November 2017). "Gold Coast Titans earmark Canberra Raiders centre Joey Leilua as Jarryd Hayne's replacement". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2018.

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