Lauitiiti extends Leeds contract

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Leeds have extended the contract of their Kiwi second-rower, Ali Lauitiiti, for another two years.

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Lauitiiti has had four successful seasons with the Rhinos since arriving from the New Zealand Warriors and will now be at Headingley until the end of 2010.

He joins team-mates like Rob Burrow, Danny McGuire and Brent Webb in committing his long-term future to the club.

Lauitiiti is in Leeds’ squad to play Huddersfield tonight, along with his fellow-countryman, Clinton Toopi, who is in line to play his first game since February after recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

Also tonight, Bradford hope that the return of Paul Deacon will halt their slide at Warrington. The scrum-half is due to play his first game since mid-May following a hamstring injury and his former team-mate and now Warrington coach, James Lowes, has warned his players about the difference he will make.

“I played with him and he’s a quality player,” he said. “He will bring a lot back to that team.”

Bradford are without Sam Burgess and Terry Newton, whilst Paul Sykes has failed in his appeal against a one-match suspension after being sent off for foul and abusive language and is replaced in the Bulls’ squad by Craig Kopczak.

Featherstone say that Mark Gleeson, released by Warrington this week, has reneged on an agreement to join them for the rest of the season.

Top meets bottom at St Helens this evening, although Castleford will be boosted by the knowledge that they have already beaten Saints once this season. Saints have Chris Flannery and Lee Gilmour back in action.

Leigh fear that their half-back, Dennis Moran, could have played his last game for the club.

The former London, Wigan and Widnes player missed last night’s game at Halifax with a stubborn knee injury and may not be fit again before the end of the season.