Out of contract Rugby League players are now free to speak to other clubs and that naturally means the rumour mill is sent into overdrive at this time of the year. Hull FC are no different.
The Airlie Birds have more than a dozen out of contract players at the end of 2019 and with a desire to freshen up the squad, they’ll be plenty of movement both in arrivals and departures.
The club have been linked with loads of names from Super League to the NRL, with four new signings already announced for next season.
Signings Hull have confirmed for 2020
Josh Jones – At 26 years of age Jones still got his peak years ahead of him and the Salford fans idolise him – that tells you a lot. He is a strong runner of the ball, and is capable of playing Back Row or Centre. He’ll be a big hit for Hull in 2020.
Adam Swift – The St Helens winger might be third choice behind Tommy Makinson and Regan Grace, but when he gets a chance he takes it, as three tries against Hull FC on Easter Monday demonstrate. Swift has pace, we all know that, and he can finish. He’s a good addition to a highly competitive back-line.
Mahe Fonua – The man who needs no introduction having had two glorious years at Hull FC in 2016 and 2017. Fonua hasn’t had the same impact at Wests Tigers in the NRL, and is now out for the rest of the season with a foot injury. He’s done okay over there, but we can’t wait to have him home next year.
Manu Ma’u – The Tongan Terminator, M’au at 30-years-old is one of the toughest back rowers in the NRL, who has played his whole career to date at Parramatta. After committing a crime as a youth, he’s now a reformed Christian and does loads of work in the community. He’s an absolutely outstanding acquisition to next year’s squad.
Tevita Satae – A rather unknown quantity from New Zealand Warriors, Satae has played little more then a dozen NRL games. The prop is the right age though at 26, and has been pulling up trees for the Warriors’ Canterbury Cup side. He’s been granted an early release and has signed for Hull FC imminently.
Jordan Johnstone – The 22-year-old hooker has signed for Hull FC on a three-year deal from Widnes. Johnstone will provide some much needed depth to the dummy half position and has expired a desire to bide his time and learn off Danny Houghton.
Those rumoured to be signing
Ligi Sau – The 26-year-old prop has played in the NRL for both Manly and current side New Zealand Warriors. He isn’t the first name on the team sheet over there nor has he played a mountain of games. That means bugger all though. How many players have come to Super League from Down Under, been labelled average over there, and then been a success over here? We’ve got a few at Hull already, look at Carlos Tuimavave, Bureta Faraimo etc etc….
Verdict: Will Sign
Joel Thompson – A 30-year-old back rower from the NRL, the Australian has played for three clubs, Canberra, St George Illawarra and his current side Manly. Local media was adamant he was signing for Hull but then took a u-turn, with Manu Ma’u since confirmed.
Verdict: Won’t Sign
Kane Evans – The 27-year-old Polynesian prop is another that’s been linked with a move to Hull FC before. Evans has clearly been a long-term target of the club, as far back as his days at the Sydney Roosters. Recently he’s been in and out of the Parramatta squad.
Verdict: Won’t Sign
Joe Cator – Not every member of a Super League squad is blockbuster, let’s appreciate that before we judge a book by it’s cover. Cator is a former Rovers youngster now at Leigh in the Championship. The back rower is versatile and would be a good addition to the squad. He’s a tough lad with youth on his side.
Verdict: Will Sign
Retention on current players
Hull have already announced new deals for Marc Sneyd, Bureta Faraimo and Ratu Naulago, but there are doubts on the futures of others.
Dean Hadley and Jez Litten have left the club to go over the river, and Chris Green has left for Wakefield, whereas the futures of Mickey Paea and Joe Westerman are in doubt.
Mark Minichiello will retire at the end of the year. Sika Manu hasn’t given a further update on his career yet, but all signs point to him going home.
Jack Sanderson is expected to be given another year after shoulder surgery. Deals for Danny Washbrook, Jack Logan, and Cameron Scott also run out this year.
Meanwhile Gareth Ellis is open to the possibility of playing on next year.
Originally published in May, this article was updated on 09/08/2019