Hull FC have signed winger Ratu Naulago after a successful trial period with the club.
The British Army recruit has been on trial with the Black and Whites, having been given a temporary release from active service to pursue his opportunity with the Black and Whites.
The rugby union convert recently helped Saracens to the Premiership 7s title, whilst he has also been on the books at Harlequins and Bath; the latter where fellow army recruit Semesi Rokuduguni also made his name in rugby union.
He has represented the British Army on the international stage in both the 15-man code, as well as 7s rugby.
The Fijian born winger has made a strong impression during his brief spell with the club, scoring five tries in four matches, including an eye-catching hat-trick against Wakefield Trinity Reserves last weekend.
Speaking to hullfc.com after signing his first professional deal with the club, Naulago said: “It’s a massive achievement for me to sign for a professional club and I’m really happy to be here at Hull FC.”
“I have been here for a few months now and everybody has been so welcoming to me. I think that has helped me settle down and play some good rugby.
“I’m really looking forward to the next few months ahead and seeing if I can have a shot at playing for the first team.”
Naulago has been a regular on the 7s circuit for a number of years where Hull FC have been keeping a keen eye on his progress.
Having been granted permission to be relieved from active service with the army, he has since made an impression on head coach Lee Radford who has handed him a contract. Radford said: “Ratu has shown significant improvement in a short space of time with us and he has earned the respect of everyone in the team and our staff by going as hard as he can in pre-season to earn this opportunity.”
“He is still pretty new to the game but he has adapted well. We watched a lot of him in rugby union and 7s so we know what he is about and we’re looking forward to him making great strides.
“He’s got a great skill set for a winger and his military and rugby 7s background means he is very fit. I’m looking forward to watching him grow at our club.”
The club would also like to thank the British Army for their help and support in facilitating the deal and the professional manner in which they have gone about providing this opportunity for Ratu.
He will continue to be supported by the army throughout his time with the club.