Herman Ese’ese: NRL enforcer’s Super League switch confirmed with long-term deal

Drew Darbyshire
Herman Ese'ese Dolphins 2023 Alamy

Herman Ese'ese in action for the Dolphins in 2023

Super League club Hull FC have signed international prop Herman Ese’ese from the Dolphins on a three-year deal from the 2024 season.

The 28-year-old has made 126 appearances in the NRL for Canterbury Bulldogs, Brisbane Broncos, Newcastle Knights, Gold Coast Titans and the Dolphins since his first-grade debut in 2015.

Ese’ese has previously represented New Zealand and Samoa on the international stage, playing for the latter in the 2017 World Cup.

Hull say they have fended off ‘strong competition’ from other Super League and NRL clubs to secure the signature of Ese’ese from next season.

On signing Ese’ese, Hull coach Tony Smith said: “We’ve done a lot of research into getting the right people into the club, and Herman fits the bill.

“We’ve been talking to him for a while and we’re excited about the prospect of him joining the club.

“We want people who are going to come here and improve us, and help develop the right culture here, and we’re confident he will do that.

“I’m excited to work with him; he has plenty of experience in the NRL and he’s ready for a new challenge, in terms of new competition and taking on some bigger roles and responsibilities too, especially in terms of leadership which is something we need going forward. It’s a perfect fit.

“There are aspects that he wants to improve and develop, but I like that he’s willing to do that while developing his own leadership qualities, taking some onus of the pack.

“He’s the sort of player that wants to take authority in the middle of the park, and we think he’ll be good at that for us.”


Herman Ese’ese excited to make Super League switch

Ese’ese, nephew of Super League icon Ali Lauiti’iti, says he has always wanted to come over to Super League and play in the northern hemisphere.

Ese’ese said: “I’m really excited to be making the move. I’ve always wanted to come over to Super League and test myself on that side of the world.

“I’m only 28 years-old and feel like I’m in the prime of my career right now, so I’m thrilled to be spending the next three years with Hull.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to wear the black and white jersey, and play for a club with such a rich history. I can’t wait to work with Tony and the lads.

“Growing up, you always dream of playing in the NRL and playing at an international level. But now I want to come to Super League while I’ve got some of my best years ahead of me.

“I didn’t want to come over too late in my career – I still have a lot of footy to give and I want to do that with a great club.

“Having always been a keen watcher of Super League, Hull FC has always been a team I’ve kept an eye on. I admire their desire and grit, and it’s a side that has a lot of potential at the moment.

“From what I’ve seen on TV, the fans are incredibly passionate about their team – that’s great to see and I can’t wait to experience playing in front of them and feeling that energy. I want to play some great footy for them.

“Across all grades, the club is moving in a good direction and I want to come over and help continue that; I’m really keen to get involved with the academy and help share my knowledge and experience with them too.”

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