Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa quits Bradford Bulls over visa delay

Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa hoped to team up with Geoff Toovey at Bradford.
David Joseph /

Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa hoped to team up with Geoff Toovey at Bradford.

Auckland born former IRB Samoan sevens star Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa has terminated his contract with English Rugby League Club, Bradford Bulls. 

Hunapo-Nofoa signed with the Championship League club in early February but has become frustrated with the waiting game of visas. It is believed the delay is due to visa regulations around his eligibility as a Samoan 7's international as opposed to a 15's International however 

But former Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey is also still awaiting his visa so that he can start working as coach of Bradford.

Hunapo-Nofoa, who was with the Warriors development squad when younger, says he was disappointed the deal with Bradford came to nothing.

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"I can't understand why Bradford didn't elude me to this earlier," he said.

"If I had known that it was going to take this long for my visa to be granted I wouldn't have signed." 

Hunapo-Nofoa doesn't know how much longer he would have had to wait to get the visa approved, but he or his agent Dixon McIver weren't prepared to wait any longer.. 

"I really wanted to play in Bradford and learn under one of the greats in Geoff Toovey," Hunapo-Nofoa said. 

"I have been waiting for more than three months now without earning a cent, it has been mentally not to mention financially taxing on myself, my family and friends but more importantly my partner who gave up her career to be by my side in Bradford," he said. 

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With the Bradford option now closed, Hunapo-Nofoa has left New Zealand to take up a contract on Wednesday with Queensland Cup side Tweed Heads Seagulls. 

Although another team at the bottom of their respective competition table Hunapo-Nofoa is relieved to be finally playing footy again.


 - Stuff

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