A young rugby league player from Boston Spa looks set for big time success in Australia.
Vila Halafihi, aged 20, has signed with top NRL club Penrith Panthers.
And he has already featured in all three of the NYC Holden Cup U-20 pre-season games against Wests Tigers, Paramatta and the Sydney Roosters.
Having played with the Leeds Rhinos Academy for the last two seasons, Vila originally signed from the Castleford Tigers where he completed their scholarship programme and played in their U-18 Junior Academy before signing for the Rhinos in November 2011.
Vila, who plays at hooker is the son of former Hull Kingston Rovers and London Crusaders forward Nick Halafihi.
Nick said: “we are all very pleased with Vila’s progress in Australia.
“He’s been in a very tough pre-season programme since November in conditions of up to 40 degrees.
“He thoroughly deserves this opportunity and we look forward to seeing him continue his progress.”