Hull FC have made Australian centre Steve Michaels their fourth signing ahead of the 2015 season, with the 27-year penning a one-year deal with the Black and Whites, subject to international clearance.
Beginning his professional career with the Brisbane Broncos, Michaels spent five years with the Queensland club featuring in the 2006 NRL Premiers side which would also go on to face Super League champions St. Helens in the World Club Challenge in 2007.
In 2009, he was also selected for the Queensland State of Origin squad, only to miss out behind the world class centre pairing of Greg Inglis and Justin Hodges, whilst he was also named in the Prime Ministers select squad to face Papa New Guinea.
The versatile centre, who was recommended to the Black and Whites by renowned NRL coach Wayne Bennett, can also play on the wing if required and switched positions when needed during his spells with both the Broncos and current club Gold Coast Titans, who he joined in 2010.
Building on his 23 tries in over 60 appearances for the Broncos, Michaels has registered a further 23 tries for Gold Coast in a similar number of games.
Speaking to hullfc.com, Michaels said, “I’m rapped to come over to Hull. I’m excited about the move. I’ve heard good things about the fanatical fans and the proud history of the club. It’s a big challenge for me.
“I’ve got an understanding of the club. I spoke to Lee and he informed me of the young players coming through whilst there is a bit of experience in there too. So it is exciting to be joining the club and the first thing I want to do is earn a spot and have some input in the team. We want some success in 2015.”
Michaels will follow current Gold Coast teammate Mark Minichiello across the globe to play at the KC Stadium next year, after the back rower signed for Lee Radford’s side last month.
Speaking to hullfc.com about how pleased he was to have been able to secure the services of the talented back, the head coach said, “We are really pleased to get Steve’s signature, he will undoubtedly add some speed and competition in to our back line for 2015.
“He’s both comfortable playing at centre and on the wing so we’re hoping the competition for places will bring the best out of our squad and will hopefully ensure everyone is working to their maximum potential. In the off season no places are guaranteed any more, I think that hasn’t been the case over the last couple of years.”
He added, “Steve has played over 120 NRL first grade games for both the Titans and the Broncos and is still only 27. Everyone I’ve spoken to regarding his personality have said the same, that he is a competitor, which is music to my ears.”
The club also have the option to extend Michaels contract by a second season should they wish.