14 August 2009

Rhinos score Eastwood after UK visa approval

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Leeds have signed New Zealand World Cup winner Greg Eastwood on a three-year contract after he successfully obtained a UK visa.

UK visa

Greg Eastwood has been approved for his UK visa and will join the Leeds Rhinos in December.

Eastwood, who currently plays for Canterbury Bulldogs, will join the Super League champions in December having won an appeal against the refusal to grant entry clearance under an ancestry visa.

Eastwood moved from the Brisbane Broncos to the Bulldogs on loan after the UK visa refusal dashed hopes of joining the Rhinos this season.

Had the appeal proved unsuccessful, Eastwood also had an option to make the move to Canterbury permanent.

The 22-year-old said he was relieved at Wednesday's decision to approve his UK ancestry visa.

"I am just pleased to have it all cleared up and I am looking forward to joining the Rhinos next season," Eastwood said on the club's website.

"Brian McClennan has been in touch with me throughout the season and keeping me up to date on the Rhinos.

"I feel like I am a better player now than I was twelve months ago when I first signed for Leeds having had the experience of playing with the Bulldogs and winning the World Cup and hopefully I can continue to learn at the Rhinos."

McClennan, who worked with Eastwood when he was national coach of New Zealand, said: "Greg will be a great addition to our squad in 2010. He is having a really good season with the Canterbury Bulldogs this season but he is really happy to have his future sorted.

"It was important that we were able to get him playing with the Bulldogs this season because he loves to play his sport. But I know he is looking forward to being a Rhino from 2010 and onwards and we cannot wait to have him here.

"There has been a lot of hard work done by people at the club and others on behalf of the club and this is a great reward for their efforts."

 The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK immigration and UK work permit applications.

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