STATS

Club
PENRITH PANTHERS (2016-2024)
Born
20/07/1995 - AUCKLAND
Height
182CM
Weight
107KG
Prev Clubs
Junior Club
ST MARYS SAINTS
Kiwi No.
827
Tests
6
Test Points
0

BIO

A quiet achiever in Penrith Panthers’ ranks for several seasons, bruising prop Moses Leota eventually developed into a vital cog in a triple premiership-winning combination and, belatedly, a New Zealand Test debutant less than a month before his 27th birthday.

Born in Auckland, Leota moved to Sydney as a 13-year-old and climbed through the grades in the Penrith juniors. He was a member of the Panthers’ 2015 NYC title-winning side – alongside the likes of future first grade and Test teammate James Fisher-Harris – and earned his NRL spurs midway through 2016.

Leota featured in the Panthers’ 2017-18 finals campaigns and represented Samoa for the first time after playing all 24 of the club’s matches in 2019.

The rugged forward has been a permanent fixture during Penrith’s dominant run that began with a minor premiership and grand final appearance in 2020, celebrating in back-to-back grand final triumphs in 2021-22 as a front-row starter with Fisher-Harris.

Leota also received a Kiwis call-up in 2022 for the midseason Test against Tonga, churning through 128 metres from 11 carries in the 26-6 victory, and the veteran of 123 NRL games’ selection in the World Cup squad at the end of the season was no surprise. He started in the big pool win over Jamaica and came off the bench in the valiant semi-final loss to Australia.

Hulking Leota’s value to Penrith only increased in 2023, playing a career-high 26 games in a stellar campaign and backing up Nathan Cleary to score the try that sparked an astonishing second-half comeback in the grand final victory over Brisbane.

He was an automatic selection alongside JFH to spearhead the Kiwis’ Pacific Championships foray, starting all three Tests in the front-row alongside the new skipper. Leota was especially prominent in the final as the New Zealand pack dominated their Australian counterparts in a record-breaking 30-0 triumph.

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