Loni Loni didn’t take much persuading to leave his native New Zealand and head out on a new rugby adventure at Scarborough RUFC.
The 25-year-old inside-centre, whose real name is Maloni Moata’ane, had been playing Premier Grade One rugby union in Auckland when the opportunity arose.
This switch has also given him the chance to link up with returning Scarborough skipper Matty Jones, who he was playing alongside at Glenfield RUFC until recently.
“I play at the same club as Matty over there and when the opportunity came up I put my hand up straight away,” he said.
“I did a bit of research into the club and I have never seen facilities like that before.
“The players at Scarborough are really lucky, I can’t wait to start playing up there.”
Loni wasn’t just coaxed over by the Silver Royd set-up, he is also keen to sample a different style of rugby, as well as fitting in some travelling.
He added: “I have just finished my season in New Zealand, so I won’t get much of a break.
“I’m doing what I love though, I have a huge passion for rugby, so I don’t mind going all year round.
“I’ve been in Scarborough about a week and I love the place. I’m from Auckland, so it is a lot different to the big city.
“I wanted to come over here to experience the culture and I want to do a bit of travelling as well when I get the opportunity.
“I have a two-year visa, so that should give me chance to see a lot and play a lot of rugby.
“The other reason I wanted to come over to England was to see what the rugby is like over here.
“It will be a bit different to back home because of the conditions.
“It is very fast-paced back in New Zealand, so I want to experience the speed and the flair of the English game.
“I have spoken to Matty about the club and they have the goal of promotion this season, which is good.
“I want to play hard and help the club to achieve exactly that.”
Loni’s career has had some expert moulding along the way, his most recent club being coached by former All Black Walter Little.
Having picked up plenty from Little, the back is keen to boost his game further in Yorkshire One.
“Playing under former All Blacks like Walter Little is great for your game.
“As you are growing up as a player he is somebody to look up to because he has been there, done it and knows everything.
“Wherever you play you pick things up, it is a case of learning all the time.
“I want to continue doing that during my time at Scarborough, I’m really looking forward to it.”