Joe Lovodua finding his feet at Hull FC

Joe Lovodua hopes putting in the hard yards on the training field means he will soon catch up with the fitness levels of his new Hull team-mates.

The Fiji forward, who is among four new recruits for Brett Hodgson’s Black and Whites squad, arrived in the middle of December.

The former South Sydney Rabbitohs player has followed a demanding programme designed to quickly get him up to speed.

“The staff have been putting me through my paces on the grass and in the gym,” the 23-year-old told the club website.

“The majority of the boys are in week seven or eight of their pre-seasons, so there’s been a bit of catching up for me to do.

“I haven’t played rugby since the middle of the year. That’s when the competition got cancelled back home in Australia and we went into a strict lockdown, so it’s been tough for me.

“The first few days, considering I was jetlagged, were really harsh on the body.

“But I feel like I’m past the worst of it now and I’m getting close to being at peak levels again, which is a credit to all the staff here.”

Hodgson has also recruited Lovodua’s fellow Fiji international Kane Evans, the New Zealand Warriors prop, Huddersfield winger Darnell McIntosh and Leeds halfback Luke Gale.

Lovodua, who has been handed squad number 14, added: “I knew Kane prior to coming to the club through the Fiji team.

“Although I’ve not seen him since I arrived here, I know (halfback) Josh Reynolds too – everyone knows ‘Grub’ back in Australia!

“It hasn’t taken me long to settle in here. Coming into the squad, there are no big egos in the room.

“Everyone has been really accommodating and welcoming towards me, which has made me feel really at home.”

Meanwhile former Hull second rower Frank Pritchard is out of a coma and recovering from Covid complications, according to Canterbury Bulldogs official Phil Gould.

“Just an update on Frank Pritchard from his Brother. He’s out of the coma and in a ward. Lungs are still weak, but in stable condition. Will keep you updated. Prayers are helping. Thanks everyone,” tweeted Gould.

New Zealand and Samoa international Pritchard played for Hull in 2016 before returning to the NRL with Parramatta Eels.

The 38-year-old, who played more than 100 times for Canterbury as well as Penrith Panthers, had been on life support with a collapsed lung among other issues.

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