Super League club Hull FC have signed young prop Franklin Pele on a two-year deal from NRL side Canterbury Bulldogs from the 2024 campaign.
The 22-year-old, a former Australian Schoolboy representative, has made six appearances for the Bulldogs in the NRL this season after making his first-grade debut for Cronulla Sharks in 2021.
Pele, who stands at 6ft 3in, weighing 120kg, has put pen to paper on a deal with Hull until at least the end of the 2025 campaign.
The New Zealand-born front-rower becomes Hull’s third new signing for 2024 following Herman Ese’ese and Jayden Okunbor.
On joining Hull, Pele said: “I’m really excited because it’s going to be a good challenge for me. I can’t wait to come over and meet all of the boys and the Hull fans, who I have heard great things about.
“I’m at the stage in my career now where I need to be playing consistent footy. Coming up against tough opposition in Super League week in, week out will help me go from strength to strength. “Having spoken to Tony Smith (head coach) and James Clark (chief executive) at the club, I know how much of an opportunity Hull FC is for me to be able to reach my full potential.”
Hull FC boss Tony Smith delighted to secure services of Franklin Pele
Hull coach Tony Smith said: “A big part of Franklin coming over to Hull FC is his appetite to play regular rugby league, and we’re extremely excited to have him in our ranks for 2024. He’s certainly a player our fans can get excited about.
“He’s a young, hungry forward who wants to establish himself as a good rugby league player, which he already is, but he wants to keep growing.
“Franklin certainly adds size to our pack. He’s powerful, destructive and he’s got a good skillset. So he fits a lot of the right criteria that we have been looking for ahead of next year.
“I’m really looking forward to him bringing all of those ingredients to our team in 2024.”