Latu trades in Greens for Blacks

Rugby union

THE good news keeps on coming for the Griffith Blacks after unveiling another big signing for the new SIRU season and taking out the Russell Wilton Memorial Rugby Championship in Leeton on Saturday.

Blacks coach Seru Rogo confirmed Chris Latu has been lured from rugby league and if his performances across Griffith's three games at Murrumbidgee College on the weekend are anything to go by, his addition to the squad could be a masterstroke.

Considered one of the best props in Group 20 rugby league, Latu was one of minor premier Leeton's best players last season and took to his new code like a duck to water as Griffith beat Wagga City 10-5, drew 12-12 with the Phantoms and then defeated Rivcoll 27-5 in the final game.

"He's going to have a run with us this year," Rogo said.

"He wanted to play in the front row and he was training there up until last week, when I said to him, 'look, I want to try you at number eight, mate.'

"We put him there and he ran amok. 

"He's very fit, tough and experienced.

"He definitely showed what a quality player he is."

Usually played in a 10s format, overwhelming demand from the clubs saw full 15-a-side rugby played on Saturday - and it helped bring Rogo one step closer to settling on his starting side for their fast-approaching opening round clash with Tumut, at the Coro Club on April 5.

The Blacks took two squads to Leeton and played largely different teams in their first two games, before Rogo unleashed his premium selection against an experimental Rivcoll.

"It just gives us a little bit of satisfaction for what we've been doing at training for the last couple of weeks," he said.

"The last one against Rivcoll was just good to watch.

"The boys really, really clicked and it was satisfying to see that what we've been trying to make them do in the field is what they've shown us.

"In saying that, I saw the team Rivcoll fielded against Wagga City and Leeton was totally different from the one that played us in the final game.

"We're still in our off-season and every other team is probably doing the same as us - looking at players, filling in the gaps and trying to see who will be ready for the first round."

Griffith's final pre-season assignment looms this weekend with the Wagga knockout.

"When we started training in January I told them about the importance of getting fit, and it showed," Rogo said.

"The boys are fit and when you are fit, you can do what you want to do."

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