Hull FC have confirmed the signing of Samoan international Ligi Sao on an initial two-year deal ahead of the 2020 season.
The 26-year-old joins the Black and Whites from the New Zealand Warriors and becomes the club’s seventh major signing ahead of next season as Lee Radford continues his overhaul of the Hull squad.
Auckland-born Sao has made 44 NRL appearances during spells at Manly and the Warriors, including five during the current campaign.
“I’m pretty excited to be heading over to Super League and to Hull FC,” he said.
“I know the club have been going pretty well over the past few years so I’m really pleased to be joining a positive environment which that success has created.
“As a Rugby League player in Australia, a lot of players who make the move to Super League do so at the back end of their career, but I saw this as a big opportunity for me while I’m in the prime of my career to show what I’m about.
“I’m aware of how impressive the club have been in recent years – the boys are going pretty well this season and obviously there was the two Challenge Cups a few years back, so for me it was a chance to push myself to the next level. You can’t turn down a big club and a big chance like this.
“My family are really excited to move to the UK too. We’ve loved our time in New Zealand but it’s an exciting time for them too to see the other side of the world.”
Radford added: “Like all our new recruits, he fits the bill in terms of character and attitude which was a big factor in our recruitment this year.
“I know James has spent a lot of time speaking to them all, Ligi in particular, and he like everyone we have spoken to about him have all sung his praises.”