Outside-back Mitieli Vulikijapani has signed a one-year contract extension with the Black & Whites!
Having penned his first professional contract in Rugby League back in April after a successful trial period throughout pre-season, the club have taken the option to extend the Fijian’s stay by a further year.
Vulikijapani becomes the latest name to commit his future to the club, with contract extensions for both Manu Ma’u and Andre Savelio in recent days, alongside Hull FC Player of the Year, Chris Satae, and Steve Prescott Man of Steel nominee, Jake Connor, earlier in the season.
Having first caught the eye of the club’s management in 2020 while representing the British Army in both 7s and 15s Rugby Union, the 47 Regiment Royal Artillery serviceman, who was granted a release from active service to pursue his opportunity with the club, made his debut in the Black & Whites’ 64-22 thumping of Leigh Centurions back in June, going on to make six appearances in his maiden campaign, picking up two Man of the Match awards.
The 27-year old bagged his first tries for the club a month later, touching down twice at the John Smiths’ Stadium as the Airlie Birds faced Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.
The rugby union convert, who previously represented Harlequins and Saracens, winning the Premiership 7s title with the latter in 2018, also spent time on loan with Betfred Championship side Bradford Bulls, impressing in his pair of appearances for John Kear’s side.
Speaking to hullfc.com, Vulikijapani said: “I’m really pleased that the club have taken the option to extend my contract by a further year – I’ve loved my first season here and I feel like I’ve still got plenty to give as I continue to develop my game.
“Signing a professional contract in April and stepping away from my duties with the British Army was a really big decision for me personally, and I’m grateful to the club for handing me that opportunity, and to continue to pull on a Black & White jersey in 2022.
“Having got a handful of appearances under my belt last season, I feel like I’ve settled in comfortably to this new environment, and I’m looking forward to keep learning and improving my game over the next 12 months.”
Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson added: “Mitch has shown glimpses of what he is capable of during his appearances in the second-half of the season, and the decision to extend his stay here was an easy one; he’s a strong ball runner out of back-field, and brings some added depth to our outside-backs department.
“Being fairly new to Rugby League, there’s areas of his game which he’ll be working on throughout pre-season, but we’re delighted with his progress so far while he’s been with us at the club, and I’m certain we’ll see him continue to go from strength to strength when he gets his opportunities in 2022.”