Hull FC have announced the immediate signing of NRL and former Super League forward Andre Savelio.
The 23-year-old signs from Brisbane Broncos on a three-year deal, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2021 season.
Hull beat off interest from elsewhere to sign Savelio, who can play in either the back row or through the middle. He will arrive at the club next week.
He 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.
“I’m really excited for this new challenge, coming back to a competition that I know well and get back on my feet again,” Savelio told the clubs official website. “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. They 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.“
Savelio’s move to Brisbane was spoiled with a season ending injury last year.
He played in Super League with St Helens then Warrington, and is looking forward to making his mark with Hull.
“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,” Savelio continued. “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.”
The signing gives Hull another option in the forwards, ahead of Chris Green and Josh Bowden’s return at the end of the month.
It takes pressure off them too, knowing that there’s upcoming Reserve fixtures to get form and match fitness back.
For Lee Radford at least, it’s a welcome situation.
“Andre is someone in our recruitment meetings we have identified for quite some time and kept tabs on,’ he said. “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.