The Scarlets have added another Kiwi to their ranks, Sam Lousi. The 27 year old joins from the Hurricanes, where he will be leaving the likes of Beauden Barret and Dane Coles.
Scarlets head coach, Wayne Pivac stated that “he is a fine player and I think he will do well”. The 19 stone lock already has high praise from the Wales bound coach, but what do we know about him?
Who is Sam Lousi?
Lousi hails from Auckland and grew up playing rugby league with his brother, Sione Lousi, who is a league star and plays for Tonga. Sam, followed this path to begin with and played for the New Zealand Warriors.
In 2014, Lousi was founding it difficult to get on the team sheet at the Warriors. Thankfully, his conditioning coach knew current Aussie coach, Michael Cheika. Lousi has expanded on this, “Michael was seeking some athletic forwards to join the Waratahs”. Moreover, he fits the athletic forward mould perfectly. Standing in at 6ft 5in and weighing over 19 stone, he certainly adds a physical element to any team. Moreover, due to his league playing days he’s pretty quick on his feet for a second row.
Lousi was the forward Cheika and New South Wales Waratahs were looking for. Unfortuately due to a shoulder injury he never gained a permanent position in the team. Ultimately, this ended with Lousi joining the Hurricanes in 2017. He quickly asserted himself as a starting player in the pack, even though many critics thought he was overly “cumbersome”. In fact, he was making such an impression in Super Rugby, there were rumours he might be pulling on an All Blacks jersey soon.
Sadly with his move to Llanelli, he will not be eligible for a call up. Although he is still eligible to play for Tonga. But is all this hype justified?
Scarlets have acquired a battering ram.
His main attribute is his raw power, hence why he is a very effective ball carrier. Thankfully due to his league background, he has exceptional hands and a lovely offload. This combination of power and the ability for an expectational offload in the tackle, makes him an exciting player to watch.
The only thing Lousi has had to work on is his line out but it is quickly becoming one of his strongest skills. He told Wales Online, “I do like to carry, but I think my confidence comes from my lineouts and giving quality ball and having quality jumps and lifting and all that,”.
Alongside his excellent line out and carrying ability, he also has another trick up his sleeve. The choke tackle. Another ability that has transisioned well from his League playing days.
Overall, Scarlets fans should be very excited to see the big man running around the Parc Y Scarlets next season. I wish him the best on his Welsh adventure.
Written by Sam Powell