Hull FC make signing number eight for 2024 in shape of French prop

Drew Darbyshire
Tony Smith Hull FC Alamy

Hull FC head coach Tony Smith - Alamy

Hull FC have signed young French prop Damel Diakhate on a one-year deal for 2024, with an option for a further year in the club’s favour.

The 22-year-old spent the latter half of the 2023 campaign with Tony Smith’s side as a trialist – but he has now made his move to East Yorkshire permanent following his successful trial period.

Diakhate has four years of experience playing in the French Elite One Championship with Villeneuve and Albi.

The Frenchman becomes Hull’s eighth new signing ahead of next season, joining fellow new recruits Herman Ese’ese, Jayden Okunbor, Franklin Pele, Jack Ashworth, Jack Walker, Liam Tindall and Morgan Smith at the MKM Stadium.

On signing Diakhate, Hull coach Smith said: “Damel is a good size. He’s enthusiastic and he has a good work rate – he’s always a real handful for defenders when he carries the ball.

“He’s looking for a break and we’re willing to give him that opportunity to try and break through.

“How long it takes for Damel to fully break through is something we’re still a little unsure on, but he’s keen to do it as soon as possible, which highlights his enthusiasm, and we’re willing to give him that chance to prove himself.”

Damel Diakhate ‘grateful’ to be joining Hull FC on permanent basis

Diakhate said: “I am really grateful for the opportunity to continue learning and growing at Hull FC.

“I have worked really hard up until this point, but I want to continue working really hard and pushing myself onto the next level.

“It was frustrating for me to get injured so soon after I arrived at the club during my trial, but everyone has been really supportive and that has made me feel welcome.

“Now I just want to get my head down and show everybody what I can do, and I am fortunate to have an experienced coaching team behind me to push me onto the next level I need to get to.”

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