Hull FC have confirmed the permanent signing of winger Ratu Naulago after a successful trial period with the club.
The British Army recruit has been training with the Airlie Birds for a few months now, and impressed in the Reserves last weekend after featuring three times in pre-season.
Naulago, both a former rugby union 7s player and rep of the 15-man code, has been given a temporary release from active service to feature for Hull. He’s also played for Harlequins, Bath, and of course the British Army.
An out and out speedster, the 27-year-old has made a big impact at the club, with fans impressed by his performances, scoring five tries in four matches so far to earn a one-year deal.
“It’s a massive achievement for me to sign for a professional club and I’m really happy to be here at Hull FC,” Naulago told the clubs official website.
“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’s talent was no secret to head coach Lee Radford, who has kept tap on the winger for a few years.
Naulago has gone straight into the squad to face Wigan on Sunday, with his progress evident to all who have watched him.
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.”
Naulago will continue to be supported by the Army during his time at Hull. He doesn’t count as a quota player and his squad number is 33.