Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Latu is of Tongan and Indigenous Australian descent and played his junior rugby league for St. John Eagles, Punchbowl, before being signed by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
In 2011 and 2012, Latu played for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs' NYC team, before moving on to the Bullldogs' New South Wales Cup team in 2013. In 2014, he joined the Penrith Panthers on a 2-year contract.
On 3 May, Latu played for the New South Wales Residents against the Queensland Residents. In Round 21 of the 2015 NRL season, he made his NRL debut for the Panthers against the South Sydney Rabbitohs. On 14 September, he re-signed with the Panthers on a 2-year contract. On 25 September, he was named in the Tongan preliminary train-on squad for the Asia-Pacific Qualifier match for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. On 27 September, he was named at lock in the 2015 New South Wales Cup Team of the Year. On 9 October, Leilani was named in the final 18-man Tongan team for the Asia-Pacific Qualifier. Come game day however he didn't make an appearance after he was replaced by 18th man David Fifita.
- "Tonga named preliminary train-on squad". NRL.com. 2015-09-25. http://www.nrl.com/tonga-named-preliminary-train-on-squad/tabid/10874/newsid/90108/default.aspx. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
- "Close the Gap - Close the Gap's Photos". Facebook. 2014-10-08. https://www.facebook.com/closethegapcampaign/photos/pb.154846511269702.-2207520000.1419706388./742036042550743/?_rdr=p&source=54&type=1. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
- "L". Nyc Database. http://nycdatabase.org/players/l/. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
- "St George Illawarra Dragons". Jubilee Avenue. http://jubileeavenue.com.au/news.php?newsid=23540. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
- "Penrith Panthers recruitment news for 2014". Zero Tackle. 16 October 2013. http://www.zerotackle.com/nrl/penrith-panthers-recruitment-news-for-2014-11377/. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
- "Representative Round team lists". NRL.com. 28 April 2015. http://www.nrl.com/representative-round-team-lists/tabid/10874/newsid/85557/default.aspx. Retrieved 2015-05-03.
- "Updated: Round 21 NRL team lists". NRL.com. http://www.nrl.com/updated-round-21-nrl-team-lists/tabid/10874/newsid/88432/default.aspx. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
- "NRL Late Mail: Panthers v Souths – Panthers". Penrithpanthers.com.au. http://www.penrithpanthers.com.au/news/2015/08/02/nrl_late_mail_panthe.html. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
- "Panthers lock up Leilani Latu | NRL". Zero Tackle. 14 September 2015. http://www.zerotackle.com/nrl/panthers-lock-up-leilani-latu-19020/#lzqcyFBRLm0lThtZ.97. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
- "2015 VB NSW Cup Team of the Year". NSWRL. http://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2015/09/27/_2015_vb_nsw_cup_tea.html. Retrieved 2015-09-27.
- "Tonga finalise squad for World Cup Qualifier". asiapacificrl.com. 2015-10-09. http://www.asiapacificrl.com/2015/10/09/tonga-finalise-squad-for-world-cup-qualifier/. Retrieved 2015-10-21.