2020 recruit Mahe Fonua has said it was an easy decision to make to rejoin the Black & Whites, saying “Hull FC was always going to be my number one choice”.
The explosive outside back will make his return to the club next season following his two season spell with West Tigers in the NRL, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal at the KCOM Stadium.
The Tongan international, who played a key role in the side winning the 2016 and 2017 Challenge Cup Finals at Wembley Stadium, saw interest in his signature from a number of other clubs, but explained that given his history with the Airlie Birds, his move was an “easy decision to make.”
Speaking exclusively to hullfc.com, Fonua said: “I’m really pleased to be heading back to Hull FC. Me and Lee (Radford) have kept in contact over the past few years while I’ve been in the NRL, so come back to a club that I have a history with is special for me and my family.
“There were some other clubs who showed some interest, but the Black & Whites was always going to be my first choice. I have some great friends there - a lot of the players who I spent 2016 and 2017 with are still at the club, so it’s not like I’m completely walking into a new club.
“Me and the boys have a great chemistry and I can’t wait to show that on the field again.”
On the two Challenge Cup Final victories he enjoyed with the Black & Whites, Fonua explained: “They are the two biggest matches that I’ve played in to date.
“To have played in front of 80,000 fans two years in a row and get that hoodoo of our back was such an incredible feeling. Scoring at Wembley three times was unbelievable. You don’t get these chances very often and I was very fortunate to get the chance to do it twice.”
The 26-year old also explained his desire to play in front of the Black & White Army once again in 2020.
“From the get-go when I first arrived at Hull FC in 2016, the fans welcomed me with open arms and they have followed my career back to the NRL - even though I haven’t been at the club, they’ve shown me some mad love. I respect that a lot with them supporting me even though I haven’t been in Black & White.
“The supporters are a huge part of the club being successful. When the KCOM is bouncing, it makes a huge difference to us on the field and I can’t wait to feel that again.”
Fonua also paid his thanks to coaches Ivan Cleary and Michael Maguire who have led the Tigers during Fonua’s 18-month spell back in the NRL, and explained that he hopes that he can return to the field for the NRL side before he departs for Super League.
“Certain aspects of my footy game have improved during my time at West Tigers. I came back to the NRL with some more big-game experience having played in Super League semi-finals and Challenge Cup Finals, and that has helped me progress.
“I have played under two great coaches here in Ivan Cleary and Michael Maguire and I have learned a lot from them and I’m grateful for the knowledge they have passed onto me.
“I’m thankful for their blessing and helping get the deal done so quickly. The club are in a good position at the moment and could be competing in a finals campaign. I’d love to be back fit and ready before the end of the season and get a few games under my belt to hopefully represent the club before I leave.”