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12 June 2019

Get to know latest recruit Richard Lepori in this new addition to the website, ‘In Depth With’.

Latest signing Richard Lepori discusses signing for the Lions, his debut and representing Italy on the international stage. 

Who was your first club and when did you start playing?

“I started playing club rugby at Under 15s with Chorley Panthers and then I signed for Salford Scholarship and Academy. From there, I got into the professional game.”

You took some time away from rugby league, how did you find that?

“I was playing for Sedgley Tigers since Christmas after having a bit of a break from the game after last season and at the end of their season I injured my ankle and I needed an MRI, but luckily it hasn’t needed an op. I enjoyed my time with Sedgley, they’ve got some great lads and the staff were great with me.”

How did the signing to Swinton come about? 

“I originally spoke to Stuart Litler towards the end of last season and I said I was going to take a bit of time away from the game, but now I’m feeling energised and as soon as I got the results back from the MRI I gave Stu a call. The lads have been really welcoming from the first session and made me feel comfortable straight away; I’ve been impressed with the closeness and application of the young group around training.”

How did you find your debut over the weekend at Heywood Road against the Toronto Wolfpack?

“It felt good to get back onto the pitch. Last week was the first time I’d trained in five weeks after the injury, so I’m happy I got through the game without any issue and it’s always good to test yourself against the top of the league. The fans were really loud and it was good to be on their side this time around, I’ve been on the end of the shed’s vocals before against Swinton!”

You have also represented Italy on the international stage. How did that come about?

“I’ve represented Italy now since playing in a few European games back in 2013. I’m incredibly proud to be half Italian and a lot of my family still lives in Italy and I love being part of the national team group. I’ve been all over Europe with Italy, some places I would never get to see without rugby like Moscow, Belgrade and Kiev. The people involved in Italian rugby league both in Italy and Australia are really passionate and are looking to grow the game with even more clubs starting to play the sport this summer too, which is positive. Obviously the highlight up to now is being part of the qualifying squad in 2016 and then selected for the World Cup squad in 2017. It was an incredible experience to be a part of the squad and after a few injuries I played the final group against Fiji in Canberra, which was one for the scrapbook that made my mum so proud.”

What are your goals for the rest of the Betfred Championship season?

“In terms of goals, I’m hoping to cement my place in the side and bring a lot of energy and to work hard for the team in any way I can. I think I lost a bit of that last year. I probably lost a bit of desire and that’s why I wanted a bit of time away and find that but I’m really keen to prove myself again and get the club moving up the league which with a few more wins, the club can start chasing teams above rather than just trying to finish in front of those below us.”

Who do you want to see feature next on ‘In Depth With’?

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