25 Jun 2019
Fonua Returns for 2020!
Hull FC are delighted to confirm the re-signing of explosive outside back Mahe Fonua on a three-year deal from the 2020 season!
The West Tigers man will return to the Black & Whites after two seasons away from the club in the NRL having fought of interest from a number of rival clubs on both sides of the world.
The 26-year old Tongan international star first joined up with the Airlie Birds ahead of the historic 2016 campaign, and went on to become one of the club's most exciting players of the Super League era.
Fonua played a key role in the club's back-to-back Challenge Cup Final victories at Wembley Stadium, scoring in both games in the capital against Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors, including an impressive brace in the 2017 final.
The former Melbourne Storm man touched down 31 times in 58 appearances for Hull, and will be looking to add to his impressive record on his return for the 2020 campaign, joining a star-studded three-quarter line with the likes of Bureta Faraimo, Ratu Naulago, Carlos Tuimavave, Jake Connor, Josh Griffin and fellow new signing Adam Swift, all of whom will be available for selection in the backs.
A two-time Super League Dream Team member in 2016 and 2017, fans-favourite Fonua has enjoyed selection for Tonga at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup since leaving the club, and has featured prominently over the past 18-months for Michael Maguire's side, featuring on both the wing and in the centres.
Fonua becomes the latest player to put pen to paper to join the club for the new season, alongside Swift and back rower Josh Jones, whilst Faraimo and Marc Sneyd have both signed extensions.
Speaking exclusively to hullfc.com on the decision to return to the club, Fonua said: "I’m really pleased to be heading back to Hull FC. Me and Lee (Radford) have kept in contact over the past few years while I’ve been in the NRL, so to come back to a club that I have a history with is special for me and my family.
"For me, it was an easy decision. There isn’t any other Super League team out there that I would have the same chemistry with than Hull FC.
"Obviously with the two Challenge Cup wins, that made some really special memories for me and my family, so when the opportunity to come back to Super League, FC was always going to be my number one choice."
And Fonua explained his excitement to be back playing in front of the Black & White Army in 2020, adding: "From the get-go when I first arrived at Hull FC in 2016, the fans welcomed me with open arms and they have followed my career back to the NRL - even though I haven’t been at the club, they’ve shown me some mad love.
"The supporters are a huge part of the club being successful. When the KCOM is bouncing, it makes a huge difference to us on the field and I can’t wait to feel that again.”
Meanwhile, Hull FC head coach, Lee Radford, said the club jumped at the chance to bring Fonua back to Hull.
"It was too good an opportunity to miss with Mahe being available. He left a young man and he'll be coming back a more mature player and fit right in as a more senior player in the squad.
"We want him to show the form he showed in 2016 and 2017, he's capable of that. He impressed in his 18 months with West Tigers too - he's a real fans favourite over there so we've got our hands on a real star.
"It's looking like it's going to be a hugely threatening back-line in 2020. With Bureta confirmed to be staying around and to have added Mahe and Adam Swift too, it's starting to look extremely promising.
"There is some real depth in quality in the backs now. We want players to have that challenge to compete for their spot - that brings out the best in them."
Head over to hullfc.com to read the full exclusive interview with Mahe Fonua.