Latest Bradford Bulls recruit can't wait to reunite with Jimmy Lowes

Vila Halafihi

Vila Halafihi

First published in Sport
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Bulls Reporter

BOYHOOD Bulls fan Vila Halafihi has become the 14th addition to Jimmy Lowes' squad for next season after agreeing a one-year deal.

The former Leeds Rhinos academy hooker has spent the past year in Australia with Penrith Panthers, where he has been successfully plying his trade in the club's under-20s side.

The 20-year-old has been working under former Australia international Trent Barrett and is keen to make his mark at Odsal.

"Coming home is a big step forward for my career after a really exciting and challenging year with the Panthers," said Hull-born Halafihi.

"I'm 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 had 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 – one which I was quick to grasp."

Halafihi, whose father Nick played for Hull KR, Sheffield and London, worked with Lowes in the academy at Leeds.

"From the minute the club approached me, I have been getting excited about the prospect of working with James Lowes again," he said.

"He was with 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.

"The club are 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.

"Competition for places is always healthy and I am really looking forward to fighting for a spot in the Bradford team."

With Matt Diskin due to make an announcement on his future later this month, Halaifihi is expected to battle it out with Adam O'Brien for the hooking role next term.

"We have some very talented hookers already on board and I expect Vila to only add to what they bring to the team," said Lowes.

"Vila has a great understanding of the game. He comes with an impressive pedigree for someone of his age and I believe he has the ability to go far.

"I fully expect him to be pushing his peers all the way for a spot in the first 17 next season, while adding a level of depth for us.

"Vila knows his way to the line and, from my time with him at Leeds, I know he has all of the right ingredients.

"He is a good all-round athlete, boasting bags of potential and ability. This is a signing I am excited about and I look forward to seeing him get stuck in to pre-season training."

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

Comments (16)

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8:02am Mon 25 Aug 14

Bullinlancs79 says...

Suppose sir jimmy knows what he is talking about when it comes to signing number 9's. No idea who this new guy is but welcome aboard
Suppose sir jimmy knows what he is talking about when it comes to signing number 9's. No idea who this new guy is but welcome aboard Bullinlancs79
  • Score: 12

8:45am Mon 25 Aug 14

olly_bradford says...

Young players with potential and a good back up for O'Brien.
Everything this club needs to move forward not only next year but the years ahead.

Think this also guarantees diskins retirement as a player and start of his reign as assistant coach

Yet again, really looking forward to next year
Young players with potential and a good back up for O'Brien. Everything this club needs to move forward not only next year but the years ahead. Think this also guarantees diskins retirement as a player and start of his reign as assistant coach Yet again, really looking forward to next year olly_bradford
  • Score: 16

9:10am Mon 25 Aug 14

wetherbybull says...

villa stems from wetherby juniors has good speed from dummy half , he has potential! needs to make the step up but is capable
villa stems from wetherby juniors has good speed from dummy half , he has potential! needs to make the step up but is capable wetherbybull
  • Score: 12

9:13am Mon 25 Aug 14

wetherbybull says...

There should be another signing this week leeds academy product super league experience and excellent in defence.
There should be another signing this week leeds academy product super league experience and excellent in defence. wetherbybull
  • Score: 7

9:16am Mon 25 Aug 14

fedupwiththeBS says...

born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan.

Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star.
born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan. Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star. fedupwiththeBS
  • Score: -32

9:22am Mon 25 Aug 14

wetherbybull says...

So many negative comments on this forum hence the reason ive not posted before. people should do their homework first. Penrith have in the region of 5000 juniors in their catchment area who are of the ability to step up to NSW cup or NRL Super league have approx 500 .
So many negative comments on this forum hence the reason ive not posted before. people should do their homework first. Penrith have in the region of 5000 juniors in their catchment area who are of the ability to step up to NSW cup or NRL Super league have approx 500 . wetherbybull
  • Score: 24

9:23am Mon 25 Aug 14

wetherbybull says...

per club
per club wetherbybull
  • Score: 6

9:24am Mon 25 Aug 14

nosher says...

Good luck to the lad and diskin when he retires. I hope he doesn't become our assistant coach. His attitude when he stepped in after Cummins got the boot was poor.
Good luck to the lad and diskin when he retires. I hope he doesn't become our assistant coach. His attitude when he stepped in after Cummins got the boot was poor. nosher
  • Score: 22

9:34am Mon 25 Aug 14

1964gc says...

fedupwiththeBS wrote:
born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan.

Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star.
Don't think we can afford to be handing out favours,more like astute Lowes signing
[quote][p][bold]fedupwiththeBS[/bold] wrote: born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan. Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star.[/p][/quote]Don't think we can afford to be handing out favours,more like astute Lowes signing 1964gc
  • Score: 14

10:14am Mon 25 Aug 14

Bowlingboy says...

Minchella next?
We are signing good young players with drive and ambition to create a dynasty for the future.
Use the ageing Leeds players as an example.
Minchella next? We are signing good young players with drive and ambition to create a dynasty for the future. Use the ageing Leeds players as an example. Bowlingboy
  • Score: 4

10:33am Mon 25 Aug 14

bully4us says...

I don't know this lad but Jimmy does. If Jimmy thinks he will make a good hooker then I trust his judgement 100%. He knows what it takes to do well in that position. We look to be recruiting young lads that "could" improve and become the backbone of the club for years to come. Leeds did that 10 years ago and other clubs have stated that is how it should be done. With relegation this is our chance to actually do it as we do have one of the best training facilities and all players say how much they like being at the club.
What is happening at Odsal by Green and Co. feels right for the first time in decades.
I don't know this lad but Jimmy does. If Jimmy thinks he will make a good hooker then I trust his judgement 100%. He knows what it takes to do well in that position. We look to be recruiting young lads that "could" improve and become the backbone of the club for years to come. Leeds did that 10 years ago and other clubs have stated that is how it should be done. With relegation this is our chance to actually do it as we do have one of the best training facilities and all players say how much they like being at the club. What is happening at Odsal by Green and Co. feels right for the first time in decades. bully4us
  • Score: 28

10:46am Mon 25 Aug 14

spanglishbull.uk says...

Fed up,
To get a contract in the N.R,L at 20 you have to be an exceptional talent.Wetherby is right,they have thousands of juniors to choose from.The N.S.W. standard is also better than the Championship over here.
Fed up, To get a contract in the N.R,L at 20 you have to be an exceptional talent.Wetherby is right,they have thousands of juniors to choose from.The N.S.W. standard is also better than the Championship over here. spanglishbull.uk
  • Score: 13

10:54am Mon 25 Aug 14

BirchLane-1964 says...

This is a good signing for the future. Anyone remember signing a young Robbie Paul and getting excited about it? I have that same feeling about this kid.
This is a good signing for the future. Anyone remember signing a young Robbie Paul and getting excited about it? I have that same feeling about this kid. BirchLane-1964
  • Score: 17

6:11pm Mon 25 Aug 14

raisemeup says...

fedupwiththeBS wrote:
born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan.

Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star.
Dont be daft. A professional coach has too much to lose by signing a "Grace and Favour" player.
Honestly you do talk some rubbish sometimes
[quote][p][bold]fedupwiththeBS[/bold] wrote: born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan. Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star.[/p][/quote]Dont be daft. A professional coach has too much to lose by signing a "Grace and Favour" player. Honestly you do talk some rubbish sometimes raisemeup
  • Score: 12

6:11pm Mon 25 Aug 14

raisemeup says...

fedupwiththeBS wrote:
born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan.

Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star.
Dont be daft. A professional coach has too much to lose by signing a "Grace and Favour" player.
Honestly you do talk some rubbish sometimes
[quote][p][bold]fedupwiththeBS[/bold] wrote: born in Hull, played for Whinos Academy and then failed to get a senior contract in the NRL, yet claims to be a lifelong Bulls fan. Flag of convenience and a favour to his dad is my first impression of this but I hope I am proved wrong and he turns out to be a star.[/p][/quote]Dont be daft. A professional coach has too much to lose by signing a "Grace and Favour" player. Honestly you do talk some rubbish sometimes raisemeup
  • Score: 4

7:49am Tue 26 Aug 14

fedupwiththeBS says...

aim achieved the comments sections on Bulls stories were getting quite dull.
aim achieved the comments sections on Bulls stories were getting quite dull. fedupwiththeBS
  • Score: -9

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