Hull FC sign Paleaaesina for 2014

Iafeta Paleaaesina will be back in Super League next season, after Hull FC secured his services on a two-year deal.

Paleaaesina, 31, is a cult-hero in English rugby league after previous spells with Wigan and Salford, in which his sheer size and power made him one of the most feared forwards in the competition.

The Samoan international, who is down to a career best 107kg after a successful spell in France, believes he is more than ready for a Super League return.

The prop said, ““I’ve enjoyed my time in France but now I am ready to come back to Super league and I’m grateful to Hull for giving me that opportunity to play for a massive club with such terrific support.

“I’ve kept myself in good condition over the summer and as soon as pre-season gets under way, I’ll be there doing my best to impress. I’ll be doing everything I can to do well for the club and I can’t say enough about how excited I am to play for Hull.

“I’ve played at the KC Stadium many times before, it’s a terrific place to play and will be even better as a Hull player. Thinking about that already has me pumped up and I wish the season was starting now because I cannot wait to get going.”

After helping his current side Limoux to the Lord Derby Cup Final, ‘Feka’ reportedly attracted the attention of a host of clubs on both sides of the world, and Airlie Birds’ head coach Peter Gentle is delighted to have won the race for his signature.

Gentle said, “Feka (nickname) will be a really useful addition for us and he certainly brings a bit of balance to our squad for 2014.

“We’re running with quite a young squad next year and losing a few senior players, so his experience will be great for us and he understands what it takes to play in Super League.

“With Mickey Paea coming too, they’ll both complement what we have already in our pack, which is valuable knowing we’re losing Mark O’Meley at the end of the season.”

He added, “I was immensely impressed with him when we got together, he was very humble as a former international and his reasons for wanting to play in Super League again with Hull FC were very genuine and forthright.

“I’ve never seen him look fitter or more determined and he’s almost unrecognisable from the player we saw a few seasons ago in Super League, but he still has that physical intimidating presence that we’ve seen him show both in the NRL and here.

“He comes with a bit of a point to prove which will make him eager to impress and it’s very pleasing to know he has turned down interest from elsewhere to opt to join us, which shows great commitment to the club already.”

Paleaaesina formerly represented New Zealand, scoring two tries in three appearances, before switching allegiance to Samoa for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

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