Hull FC further bolster squad for 2024 as NRL recruit becomes Tony Smith’s ninth new signing

Ben Olawumi
Fa’amanu Brown

Hull FC have confirmed the addition of Fa’amanu Brown from NRL outfit Newcastle Knights on a one-year deal, with the Samoa turned New Zealand international their ninth new face in the pack for 2024 already.

Better known as ‘Nu’, Brown has previous experience in the British game having featured 27 times for Championship side Featherstone Rovers back in 2021, crossing for 17 tries during his short stint at Post Office Road.

That year, he helped the West Yorkshire outfit to the Grand Final, where they were beaten by Toulouse Olympique, and to Wembley where they lifted the 1895 Cup with victory over York Knights.

The Christchurch-born half-back has eight caps for ‘Toa Samoa’ to his name internationally having represented his heritage at last year’s World Cup, starring at hooker in their semi-final triumph over Shaun Wane’s England at The Emirates.

Also able to feature at loose forward if required, he will line up against Samoa this autumn though for his country of birth having been drafted into the New Zealand squad for the upcoming Pacific Championships.

Hull FC further bolster pack for 2024 with addition of NRL ace

As revealed by Love Rugby League last month, 28-year-old Brown had been made available to Super League clubs, and he now makes the move over, bringing a wealth of experience to Hull’s pack, and providing them with a further option in the spine.

Debuting in the NRL at the age of 19, he’s donned a shirt for Cronulla Sharks, Canterbury Bulldogs, Wests Tigers and most recently Newcastle down under over the course of the last decade.

Having put pen to paper on a 12-month contract with the Black and Whites, the versatile ace expressed just how excited he is to take on a new challenge.

He said: “I’m really privileged to be joining Hull FC. Something I have always wanted to do throughout my career is to stamp my name on the Super League competition, and I’m just so excited for the opportunity.

“I’ve watched a fair bit of Super League on TV whilst I’ve been in Australia and I kept up with it whilst I was at Featherstone in the Championship. The fans over in England are crazy!

“I’ve had a really good chat with Tony Smith and we just clicked straight away. To be honest, we didn’t chat about footy that much.

“It was mostly about life away from footy and he said that if everything is looking after itself off-the-field, then you’ve got a good chance of performing at your best on the field. I think that’s part of having a successful team.

“I said to Tony, wherever you put me I will do a job and I’m willing to die for the club whose colours I wear on my back.”

Nu Brown becomes Hull’s ninth new signing; ‘He’s going to be great for the culture we are trying to create here’

New South Wales native Smith isn’t shy of options next year, bringing in overseas stars Franklin Pele, Jayden Okunbor and Herman Ese’ese as well as his latest recruit.

Liam Tindall, Jack Ashworth, Morgan Smith and Jack Walker are all also new recruits at the MKM Stadium, while young French prop Damel Diakhate has penned a deal having come through a trial with the club successfully.

Giving his verdict on what Brown can bring to his team, boss Smith added: “Simply, he is what I would call a footy player. He’s got the ability to run the ball and he can take control of a game. That’s what I really like about him. He’s smart and it’s a really good pick up for the club.

“Not only that, but he’s a great human being too. We connected well when we had a chat over the phone recently, and I can tell he’s going to be great for the culture we are trying to create here. He’s got a great personality.

“I like the fact he has played in England before and that he has experience of playing in this country. I think that’s going to hold him in good stead.

“I can just sense a real hunger about Nu and how he wants to hit the ground running for us. He’ll be joining us just after being in camp with the Kiwis, which is a great achievement for him, so we hope he brings that confidence along with him and that he can make a great start to his career at Hull.”

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