Hull FC have announced the signing of NRL forward Andre Savelio from Brisbane Broncos on a three-year deal.
The 23-year old former St Helens and Warrington prospect has put pen to paper on a deal with the Black & Whites which will keep him at the club till the end of the 2021 season, subject to passing a routine medical.
Hull faced stiff competition from a number of clubs, but have secured their man having been keeping a close eye on the player in recent months.
Savelio, who can play back row or through the middle, will return to the UK next week to meet up with his new teammates having spent the 2018 campaign in Queensland.
The talented forward was born in New Zealand but moved to Cheshire at a young age when his father, Lokeni, signed a deal to play in Super League with Salford in 1997.
A former England U16/U18s representative, St Helens Young Player of the Year (2015) and Albert Goldthrope Rookie of the Year (2015), hot-prospect Savelio will be looking to reignite his career back in the UK after suffering injury at the start of last season.
Speaking to hullfc.com on his move, Savelio said: “I’m really excited for this new challenge, coming back to a competition that I know well and get back on my feet again. I’m looking forward to finding that love for the sport again.
“Hull are a big club so I’m really grateful for the opportunity. FC were keen from the get-go - they laid out their intentions.
“I first spoke to the Broncos about moving home about 10 days ago, then on following Wednesday I had a chat with my agent before Hull came in with an offer the day after.
“I spoke with Lee (Radford) - I didn’t really know him before he made the phone-call but he is a coach I’ve always had respect for. The plans that he laid out on the phone sounded like they suited me perfectly.
On what he wants to achieve during his time with the club, Savelio continued, “I don’t necessarily want to be noticed on the field for the fancy stuff, but instead the stuff your teammates recognise and might go unnoticed elsewhere. I’m a hard-working honest player who just wants to give it their all.
“One of the things I’m most looking forward to is being in the city. I know a bit about Hull and the supporters and I just want to come here and do them proud.”
After spending his youth career with Warrington Wolves, Savelio was handed his first contract by St Helens in 2011, joining from amateur side Latchford Albion, and immediately caught the eye during the Saints Academy tour of Australia that year.
He went on to make 42 appearances for the Red V after making his debut in 2014.
His time with the Saints also included a brief spell on loan with Castleford Tigers in 2016, before making the switch to his childhood club Warrington for the 2017 campaign, scoring 9 tries in 25 appearances for the club and remaining a key part of the squad throughout the season.
Such was Savelio’s influence during his World Club Series appearance for the Wolves at the start of that season, he captured the attention of opposition coach and England-boss Wayne Bennett, who snapped up the forward for the following season at Brisbane.
The youngster was dealt a cruel blow in his opening appearance for the NRL-side though, suffering a season-ending injury, but fully recovered he returns to the UK determined to discover his form of previous seasons on home-soil.
Hull FC head coach Lee Radford added: “Andre is someone in our recruitment meetings we have identified for quite some time and kept tabs on. We had initially looked at him for 2020, so to bring him over early is a great opportunity for both him and us.
“I’ve been a fan of his for a long time now and can see him being a great long-term acquisition as an edge back-rower.
“We’re in a position where we have retained a lot of quality in our squad and added some fantastic new additions, coupled with the impressive contribution Gareth Ellis has made since coming out of retirement.
“With a few more players due back from injury in the coming weeks I’m really looking forward to watching the blokes work that little bit harder to hold down their spot in the squad.
“I’d like to thank the owner and management for putting us in a position to be able to do that.”
Savelio will wear the number 35 jersey.