Hull FC sign Mahe Fonua

Hull FC have signed Tongan international winger Mahe Fonua from Melbourne Storm for the 2016 season, on a three-year deal.

The 22-year-old winger joins Hull after spending four seasons with his hometown club Melbourne, having scored 23 tries in 50 games.

The news was confirmed after Fonua made his 50th appearance for the Storm against Wests Tigers in the NRL.

Hull coach Lee Radford believes that Fonua has all the attributes to set Super League alight.

“This is not just a coup for the club, it’s also a coup for the competition and I’m looking forward to seeing his influence in Super League,” said Radford.

“We were surprised to hear about his availability as a relatively established NRL player and it certainly shows we’re moving in the right direction in terms of our recruitment, as he wants to play for Hull FC and he excites us and will excite the fans.

“We’ve had some really good references from over there that make me feel really confident in what he can bring to the side.

“I think how he performs and how he plays speaks for itself with some wholehearted performances and I think he’s going to be a fantastic addition to our squad.”

He continued, “At his age and with his pedigree he is certainly a huge asset for the club, and I just can’t wait to see him in action for us.

“The versatility he brings to the side will be key and particularly at the back end of the season when you’re squad has been tested to the max and he will be a massive threat on either side, on the wing or at centre.”

Fonua, 22, a native of Melbourne, and the first Victorian player to represent his local club, made his debut in 2012 for the Storm, helping them to win the NRL Premiership.

He has represented Tonga on four occasions, scoring two tries, and featured in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, as well as the Storm’s World Club Challenge victory against Leeds earlier that year.

This season he has played 11 NRL games for Melbourne, scoring three tries and having made his 50th appearance at the weekend.

Fonua is Hull FC’s fourth signing for the 2016 season, following fellow NRL recruits Frank Pritchard and Carlos Tuimavave, along with England Knights prop forward Scott Taylor from Wigan Warriors.