26th August 2014

VILA HALAFIHI says he is determined to grasp the opportunity ahead of him after agreeing a one-year deal to become the club's sixth new signing for 2015.

The Hull-born hooker has been successfully plying his trade with NRL giants Penrith Panthers' junior ranks for the past 12 months, following a stint in the Leeds Rhinos Academy.

However, 20-year-old Halafihi admits he cannot wait to arrive back in the UK, insisting he is relishing the prospect of working under Bradford Bulls head coach James Lowes.

“Coming home is a big step forward for my career, after a really exciting and challenging year with the Panthers,” said Halafihi.

“I am a massive Bradford Bulls fan, so feel absolutely privileged to have signed for such a great club.

“Bradford was the first team I ever supported and I want to play a part in helping return the club to its former glory.

“I have enjoyed a great apprenticeship and am privileged to say Trent Barrett has been coaching me all season. I have learnt a huge amount from him. He has really added to my game.

“Joining the Bulls is a huge opportunity for me and one which I fully intend to make the most of.

“From the minute the club approached me, I have been getting excited about the idea of getting to work with James Lowes again.

“He was with at the Rhinos when I was there and to have someone who has won such a long list of trophies while playing my position will be fantastic for me going forward.”

Halafihi admits he will face stiff competition for a spot in the Bulls' first 17 next term, with competition already hotting up for the club's hooking role.

With Adam O'Brien already on board for next year and newcomer Dave Petersen offering a No.9 option, the fourteenth addition to coach Lowes' 2015 roster knows he will need to hit the ground running next term.

“Competition is always healthy in my eyes and it certainly brings out the best in people,” added the son of former London, Sheffield and Hull KR star Nick Halafihi.

“The club is doing a great job on the recruitment front and I have certainly been keeping an eye on the way the squad is shaping up.

“There are some exciting names already on board and there is a pretty good mix of talent in place.

“I know what I am going to be coming up against but I am really looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“My aim is to make some inroads next year and show people that I am really pushing to achieve with the Bulls.”

Halafihi is due to arrive at the Provident Stadium in October, prior to the start of pre-season training.