Ex-Castleford Tigers and Hull FC man Mahe Fonua turned down opportunity to remain in the UK as he reveals new club

FORMER Castleford Tigers and Hull FC man Mahe Fonua has revealed that he turned down an opportunity to remain in the UK at the end of the 2023 season.

Midway through last year, Fonua and the Tigers came to a decision that would see the former Tonga international leave The Jungle.

In doing so, the 31-year-old was a free agent, but that soon changed with a phone call from Doncaster’s chief executive Carl Hall.

It proved to be a fairytale ending to the 2023 season for both Fonua and Doncaster, with the South Yorkshire side earning promotion to the Championship and the powerhouse outside back playing his part in that success.

“Once word had got out about me parting ways with Castleford, Carl Hall – the chief executive of Doncaster – reached out to me to see if i was interested in seeing the season out with them and add to their squad as they were pushing for promotion,” Fonua told League Express.

“I was planning to move back home, but after the offer and hearing the club’s aspirations to go up a division, I wanted to be a part of that and i accepted.

“I believe everything happens for a reason and with the opportunity to finish my UK career at the Dons on a high was the way I wanted to finish up.

“I’m very grateful to Carl for that phone call. I enjoyed my short time at the club and playing my part to help the club get promoted.”

Fonua also went on to reveal that Hall attempted to keep the 31-year-old at the club for 2024, but the time was right to leave and go back home.

“I don’t think I had any offers, I didn’t put the feelers out there but I was ready to move back home and it was on a good note as well.

“Carl did ask me after winning the final if I wanted to stay on at Doncaster, but I think the timing was right and best for me and my family to make the move home.”

Now Fonua is part of a Mackay Cutters side that is aiming for glory in the Queensland Cup – but it’s fair to say it’s a different climate for the ex-Castleford man!

“I’m loving being back in Australia, Mackay itself is a nice town and me and my family are enjoying living here.

“It’s a very different climate from what we’ve been use to the last four years! So we are still adjusting to the Queensland country heat.

“The club has been good to me and I’m still new to the Cutters so I can’t judge them too much, but from what I’ve gathered thus far, I like it here.”

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