Quickfire Q & A with Mahe Fonua (Hull FC)

We got Hull FC’s Mahe Fonua in the hotseat to answer your questions, and aside from enquiries about his hair and what’s so special about Hull, there was even a proposal of marriage! Read on to find out if he accepts…

Wellsy4HullFC: What’s the inspiration for your hairstyle?

It was a pretty spontaneous decision really. I went into the barbershop and I just thought – let’s leave the back. Two years on it’s still the same – I still tell the barber to leave the back.

Joshua Brown: Is your hair extensions?

No there isn’t any in there at the moment – it is all my genuine hair. But in the World Cup in 2017 I did have some extensions in there. I am hoping that my hair is long enough now that I won’t need extensions again and I can still have the same look if I were to get the box braids again. But they take a bit of time and effort so I won’t be bugging my wife too soon to get them done again.

The Hallucinating Goose: My friend Gill is in love with you, will you marry her?

Unfortunately no – I’m already married with two kids and she wouldn’t be too impressed if I married someone else.

Lowdesert: Your career has been split 50/50 between wing and centre. Which is your preferred position at Hull FC?

When you do play two different positions equally it does become hard to get one preferred option. At Hull FC this year with the depth and calibre of player we have it’s hard to cement a spot in one position. But in saying that my preferred position would be centre because that is always where I played growing up.

DavidM: How did it feel to be one of the first Melbourne born and bred players to play for the Storm?

I was very proud to be a Victoria player coming through the Melbourne system and play for the Storm – a strong club with a strong history. But I was more proud of our little State. It’s an AFL-dominate State and I was hoping I’d helped open up a gateway and a pathway for young kids in Victoria to aspire to play for the Melbourne Storm.

Wellsy4HullFC: Did you have any other options to return to Super League? Did you consider signing for anyone else?

Without sounding too overconfident, there were a few other clubs interested, but me and Hull FC have a strong chemistry and my daughter was born in the town. So the other clubs would have really needed to hit it out of the ballpark with their offer to go there over Hull. It was an easier transition to come back to Hull FC.

Hughsehhh: FC have got a formidable set of forwards. Who’s got the best gym stats and who lifts the most pound for pound?

Gareth Ellis for both. He’s built like, and is as strong as an ox – even at 39. I’m pretty sure he outdoes the rest of our forward pack in the gym. I’m not sure how much he’s weighing at the moment but pound for pound he’s definitely one of, if not the strongest in the gym.

Lowdesert: I remember speaking to you, Frank, his wife and Sika Manu in Perpignan railway station. Did your cycling trip around Barcelona go well with your knee strapped up?

I do remember having a conversation at the railway station and the train trip. Things went well on that trip and it turned out pretty good in the end.

Old Frightful: If Hull FC start winning things again (which they haven’t since you left by the way!), could you see yourself at this club for the next few years or will there always be a desire to play more footy in the NRL?

I’m not sure, I will just have to wait and see what cards I get dealt. I just want to keep playing, whether it’s in Super League or in the NRL. I’ll just see where the career takes me and hopefully that will include some silverware along the way.

Man of Kent: Do you or any of your teammates have any superstitions or weird rituals they need to do before a game?

Not that I know of, I can’t think of anyone. But then again, when your preparing for a game everyone is in their own space so I don’t pay much attention to the other players when they are preparing for the game. I’m pretty chilled and just go about my business without any superstitions.

Bleep1673: Where was your first game played, and how did it go?

The first-ever game I can remember playing in was an Under 10 game back in Victoria – it was for my local team Berwick Bulldogs. I didn’t have a pair of boots to wear at that point but I still managed to score about five tries in a normal pair of runners. So it was a pretty good game to start with.

Bleep1673: Apart from Hull, obviously, where is the best place you have lived?

Melbourne. Whenever it is that I do finish my career and retire, I’d love to go back there with my family. It’s very different to Hull and the weather over here recently has been killing me. The wind and the cold air on top of it are making me regret thinking about coming back. But Hull is home away from home, our daughter was born here and the club has always been good to us so that’s what we like about being in Hull.

@abuchananfans: What is the most memorable match you have played in and why was it memorable?

It would have to be the 2017 Challenge Cup Final. The direction we were facing when the hooter went was looking towards where our families were sitting. When that siren went it’s was just a feeling of relief that we had won and I had my wife and two-week-old daughter there watching me.

@craig_lawson6: Which Rugby League team did you support when you were younger?

I wasn’t a Rugby League kid growing up, I was AFL first. But once I learnt that there was only one Rugby League team in Melbourne I started to support them and I was lucky enough to then play for them when I grew up.

@championship_rl: What is your first Rugby League memory at amateur or professional level?

Scoring those five tries in runners – playing a game of Rugby League with no boots on.

@emma_tr4_rhinos: How did you become interested in Rugby League?

It was purely by chance. A Primary School friend of mine was leaving the swimming pools early and I asked him why. He said he was going to Rugby League training so I asked him to wait for me. I phoned my dad and asked if I could go along and it all blossomed from there. I’m not in touch with him anymore, but he was called Henry Johnson. Not long into that first Under 10s season he stopped playing the game, and I ended up kicking on.

@amy_essexgal: What is your favourite away ground to play at?

Over here I’d have to say Wigan or Warrington. They are both pretty high-class stadium and the pitch is usually in good nick. The vocal home support at each of those usually adds to the atmosphere you’re playing in there.

Quickfire Q & A appears every month in Rugby League World magazine. If you’ve enjoyed this feature, click here to download the digital edition for much more great Rugby League reading!

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