Hull Kingston Rovers have completed the signing of Melbourne Storm forward Albert Vete.
As first revealed by League Express, the Tonga international joins the Robins on a two-year deal to bolster their pack options for 2021.
Vete played six times for the NRL champions this year and will be tasked with replacing the likes of Mose Masoe and Mitch Garbutt.
Tony Smith has expressed his wish to add reinforcement to his forwards and Vete will add size to a pack that was often outpowered in 2020.
“It’s a great acquisition for us,” Smith said.
“He’s the right age, right size and at the right stage of his career. He’s got some go forward, he’s got lots of Rugby left in him, so he’ll have a really good impact for us in the future.
“He’s a really nice young man, who’s come through a really good programme at Melbourne Storm, we’ve had lots of good reviews on him from the Melbourne staff. We are delighted that he’s coming over here for the right reasons, with the right attitude and the right maturity to help us in our rebuilding here.
“Coming from the current NRL Champions he comes with good pedigree and a good understanding of what it takes to be successful. He’s able to bring some of those experiences to us, and to our young people to help them along the way, whilst leading from the front.”
Vete added: “At first, I was hesitant to move all the way to England to play footy, but once I talked to a few people they convinced me it’s the right move for me at the age I’m at. I want to keep playing footy and to keep growing, I’m only 27 so I know I’ve still got a lot of footy in me, I’m very keen to get over to England and learn.
“The reason Hull KR came about is because my manager knows Tony Smith. I’ve spoken to Tony a couple of times, he wanted to get to know me and to see how my season was traveling. We talked some footy and then when the season finished we started to talk serious. He explained to me where the club is heading, he wants me to come and add value to the club, and that’s what I’m looking to do.”