12/04/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/04/2019 13:11
Mahe Fonua says he kept the Black & Whites close to his heart during his spell in the NRL over the past two seasons.
The explosive outside-back made his long-awaited return to the club last week, joining up with the first-team squad for pre-season after signing a three year contract with the club he won back-to-back Challenge Cups with.
Speaking at his first press conference since re-joining the club, Fonua said: 'I kept in touch with Radders over the past two years I've been back in the NRL. Injuries are part and parcel of the sport and I broke my foot midway through this season - I was out of contract. I was so thankfully that I'd stayed in touch with the club meaning I didn't have to rush back to get fit for another contract in the NRL, I could take my time to recover.
'He reached out when I needed it the most and I'm thankful to Lee and the club for giving me this opportunity.
'Moving over to the UK is no easy choice but I'm over the moon to be back. With the squad we're building here, it's a really sound team and we could do some real damage this season.
'Coming in down the A63 was a bit of Deja Vu. When we left two years ago, we thought that was my time in the Super League done but you don't know the cards you're going to be dealt.'
Fonua admitted he has followed the club as much as possible during the time back in Australia, and says the club has remained close to his heart.
'I've followed the boys as much as I could while I've been back in Australia. I stayed good friends with some of the boys over social media but getting up at 5am to watch the games was tough every week!
'I always kept the club close to my heart. There were a couple of other clubs in the Super League who showed interest in signing me, but we have a lot of chemistry and history with those Challenge Cups, as well as my daughter being born here, so FC was always going to be my first preference.'
And the 26-year old explained that it is an exciting time to be back in Super League with the current calibre of star players, saying: 'It's a great time to be involved in Super League. NRL players only used to come at the back end of their career but that seems to be changing.
'Having the likes of Widdop, Burgess, Ma'u and Sonny-Bill coming over is huge for the game.'
He continued: 'The aim while I'm here is to win a Grand Final. With the squad the club have built, I definitely think we are capable of being up there with the likes of St Helens and Wigan.
'The Challenge Cup is held in high regard, but you train all your pre-season to play 29 rounds of the season, making the Grand Final the absolute pinnacle.'
And Fonua is expecting competition for places with plenty of talent in Hull FC's backs.
'My preference is to just be on the field! We have some great players in this squad and we're stacked in the outside backs.
'Adam Swift is a Grand Final winner, Jake Connor is and England and Great Britain international, along with Bureta Faraimo and Ratu Naulago, both of which I have only heard good things about.'