Betfred Super League: Hull FC sign Fiji hooker Joe Lovodua on one-year deal for 2022 season | Rugby League News

Fiji international Joe Lovodua joins Hull for 2022 from NRL grand finalists South Sydney Rabbitohs: “This is an extremely exciting move; it’ll be my first time heading over to England, so I can’t wait to get over there and crack on with pre-season.”

Last Updated: 01/10/21 4:58pm

Hull FC have confirmed the signing of Fiji hooker Joe Lovodua on a one-year deal

Hull FC have confirmed the signing of Fiji hooker Joe Lovodua on a one-year deal

Hull FC have announced the signing of Fiji international hooker Joe Lovodua on a one-year deal for the 2022 Betfred Super League season.

The 23-year-old joins the club from NRL grand finalists South Sydney Rabbitohs, and will provide extra competition for places in Hull’s pack.

The dynamic ball player will also offer some versatility if required, with the ability to play across the back row and at centre.

“This is an extremely exciting move; it’ll be my first time heading over to England, so I can’t wait to get over there and crack on with pre-season,” Lovodua said on the day his signing was confirmed.

“Having played most of my club career in the New South Wales Cup, I feel like this is a really big chance to move my career forward and showcase what I am capable of. I’m coming to Hull to put my best foot forward and give everything for this team.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and the chance to play for such a prestigious club like Hull FC. I have been impressed by the people at the club, the heritage and I’ve heard a lot about the fans and the city.

Lovodua, 23, has eight Fiji caps to his name to date and is Hull's second signing for next season

Lovodua, 23, has eight Fiji caps to his name to date and is Hull’s second signing for next season

“I know I am not just going to walk straight into the starting squad, but I will be coming to prove myself, do my best for the team, and earn a place in the playing squad each week.

“My preferred position is hooker – I enjoy playing that position, being on the ball in the middle of the park and having an influence on the team going forward and I hope to be able to bring something different to the team.”

A St George Illawarra Dragon junior, the Fijian worked his way through the age-grades since 2017 and has been a cornerstone of their New South Wales Cup squad, where he was coached by former Hull FC half back Mathew Head.

Having made 46 appearances at reserve level, Lovodua moved to the Rabbitohs last year where he continued his eye-catching form and was set to earn a place in Wayne Bennett’s top-30 squad next season – before Hull FC came calling with a Super League opportunity.

Lovodua has already had a good taste of senior rugby league, with his first professional game being one to remember as he made his debut for Fiji at the 2017 World Cup.

He played hooker in four of their five matches, including convincing wins over Wales and USA, as well as the memorable 4-2 victory against New Zealand Warriors and the semi-final clash against eventual winners, Australia.

With eight caps to his name already, he has lined up alongside some high-profile stars such as Kevin Naiqama, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jarryd Hayne, Maika Sivo and Kane Evans.

Lovodua becomes Hull’s second signing ahead of next season, joining electric winger Darnell McIntosh who is set to move from Huddersfield Giants in the coming weeks, having put pen to paper on a three-year deal in August.

Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson said the club were pleased and excited by the capture

Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson said the club were pleased and excited by the capture

Speaking about the latest addition, Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson added: “Joe is a player we’ve had an eye on for quite a while, and we’re really pleased to have him tied down for next season.

“To add an international level player is a real positive, having run out for Fiji on numerous occasions; he has some great deception out of dummy-half and brings some speed and awareness to that department – and he’s at a good age with his best years ahead of him.

“He is ready for an opportunity. He has been unfortunate to find himself behind some great hookers like Cameron McInnes at the Dragons and Damian Cook at the Rabbitohs which has limited his path to first-grade, but he will have learnt a lot from guys like that.

“We’re really excited to offer him that chance to show what he can do and prove himself in Super League and while we see him as a dummy half option for us, he does also bring excellent utility value, which will add strength in a number of positions for us.”

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