Johnny Leota

Johnny Leota

Johnny Leota (born 21 January 1984 in Palmerston North, New Zealand) is a professional rugby union player who played for Manawatu in the ITM Cup. He signed for Sale Sharks in the Summer of 2011. In 2011 Leota also made his international debut, playing for Samoa.

Playing career

Provincial rugby

Leota debuted for Manawatu in 2004 and developed into a fixture for the province, playing his 50th match in 2009. As part of his move to the Highlanders in 2008, he 'signed' with Otago, but was immediately loaned back to Manawatu.

Leota missed most of the 2010 ITM Cup through injury, making only two appearances for the Turbos. He returned to action with Manawatu for the 2011 season.[1]

Super Rugby

Leota was signed by the Highlanders for the 2008 Super 14 season, and established himself as a key member of the squad, starting 12 of the team's 13 games and scoring two tries in the process.

In 2009, Leota again made 12 appearances for the Highlanders, but was reduced to 6 starts and was used mainly as a substitute through the second half of the season.

Leota was not retained by the Highlanders for the 2010 Super 14 season, and instead found himself in the wider training group of the Hurricanes.[2] However, he did not make an appearance for the squad and was not brought back after missing most of the 2010 provincial season through injury.

Representative selection

Leota was one of 25 players selected in the squad for the Samoan national team's 2011 Pacific Nations Cup campaign, in the leadup to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.[3] He made his international debut for Samoa against Tonga in Lautoka, Fiji. Shortly thereafter he returned to New Zealand and resumed provincial duties for Manawatu.[4]

Personal life

Johnny Leota is married to Liana Leota (née Barrett-Chase), a netball player in the Silver Ferns and the Southern Steel. The couple married in 2010 in Rarotonga, and have one daughter, Brooklyn.[5][6]

References

External links

  • Manawatu Turbos profile