Fonua’s Hull FC departure confirmed

Mahe Fonua will leave Hull FC at the end of the season, the club has confirmed.

The 24-year-old has been granted permission to leave the club at the end of the season due to family reasons and is expected to sign for Wests Tigers ahead of the 2018 season.

Fonua, who was named in the Super League Dream Team last year, was under contract until the end of next season, but he will now depart the club at the culmination of the year.

Fonua said: “I am extremely grateful for the club’s support and understanding of the situation and how accommodating they have been.

“I have always had ambitions to return to the NRL at some stage, but the timing now is important for my family and for us to be back closer to home.

“I’d like to thank everyone for the support they have shown me whilst we have made this difficult decision. This club, the players and the fans have become very special to us and I will give them the very best service I can for the final few months of my time here.”

Head coach, Lee Radford added: “We are obviously disappointed to lose a player of Mahe’s quality, but we completely understand his reasons for returning home.

“It is not the way of our club to stand in the way of a player in these circumstances and Mahe and his family will leave with our blessing and best wishes.

“He arrived as a bit of an unknown quantity to many people, but leaves us having made a real impression on the club and the competition.

“The opportunity to develop and progress with some continuity in selection and performances in Super League, compared to the cut-throat nature of the NRL where some young players can find themselves jumping between first-grade and reserves has certainly benefitted him.

“He has had the opportunity to prove himself, develop his game and returns to the NRL as a better player, which could be our approach again should the right player and opportunity present itself.”

Radford added, “I know Mahe will be doing all he can for the remainder of the season to go out on another high this year.”