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Lulia playing for Bradford Bulls

Thursday 12 January 2012 | Published in Regional

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Cook Islands national rugby league star Keith Lulia has begun his new two-year contract with the Bradford Bulls club in West Yorkshire, England.

The 24-year-old Australian born and raised Cook Islander was in the Cook Islands national league squad at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and was last included in the squad in 2010.

The 6-foot 4-inch player has risen to stardom through the St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights clubs and plays at centre and wing.

The Cook Islands international recently married his partner Kelly in Bali, which turned out to be an unforgettable experience in more ways than one.

An earthquake hit the Indonesian island just hours before Lulia was due to tie the knot.

We got married in Bali and had our honeymoon there it was definitely a day to remember, said Lulia.

There was an earthquake on the day, just three hours before our ceremony.

Apparently it was 6.9 on the Richter scale and we were actually getting married in the epicentre.

We were just lucky that no one got hurt or injured, other than a few cracks in a number of buildings.

Once we found out there was no tsunami warning, everything went very smoothly after that.

But, as it was three hours before the service, the missus was freaking out a bit.

Having arrived safely in the UK just over a week ago, Lulia could form a formidable centre pairing this year with fellow NRL signing Adrian Purtell.

Both men stand 6ft 4in, and Lulia says he is relishing the challenge of proving himself in Super League.

He turned down offers from Melbourne Storm and Wests Tigers to join the Bulls and become reunited with Potter, who he worked under during his junior days at St George.

Lulia who saw in the New Year with his wife in London added: Obviously the weather is a bit different to back home, but we are settling in fine and getting to know the place and all the boys.

I did have opportunities to go to Melbourne and the Tigers but I know Mick from back home and here I am.

Bradford has a great history and Id like us to go pretty far this year.

Weve got a few new signings and it will be interesting to see how we go.

Lulia is currently nursing a slight hamstring strain but is confident of being available for the Super League opener at home to Catalan Dragons on February 5.