Hull FC: Tony Smith turns attention to NRL with forward pack set for revamp

Josh McAllister
Tony Smith, Hull FC

Hull FC coach Tony Smith

Hull boss Tony Smith has reportedly turned his attention to the NRL in an attempt to bolster his forward pack options for the 2024 Super League season.

In-form prop forward Chris Satae will leave the club at the end of the current campaign to join Catalans Dragons on a two-year deal, ending a five-year stint at the MKM Stadium.

Andre Savelio looks set to join Huddersfield Giants, as previously reported by Love Rugby League, with head coach Ian Watson since confirming his interest in the out-of-contract back-rower.

Veteran Scott Taylor remains without a deal beyond 2023, with the likes of Jordan Lane and Brad Fash signed up to long-term deals, and Joe Cator has re-signed for next season.

Alongside a new half-back to replace the departing Jake Clifford, who will return to former club North Queensland Cowboys in the NRL for next season, Smith is looking to add depth to his forward pack with several quota spots available.

The club could have at least three overseas spots available next season, with Fiji international Joe Lovodua also still without a deal, which has seen Smith turn his attention to the NRL competition.

Tony Smith side linked with two NRL forwards

Hull Live previously reported that the Black & Whites have signed Canterbury Bulldogs prop Franklin Pele on a two-year contract from next season.

The 22-year-old has made just seven NRL appearances to date, having been handed his debut by Cronulla Sharks in 2021 before joining the Bulldogs.

He is one of a handful of players set to leave Canterbury at the end of the season, including former Super League forwards Luke Thompson and Ryan Sutton.

Meanwhile, reports have been growing of a move for Wests Tigers forward Shawn Blore.

He is contracted to the Tigers until the end of 2024, but has struggled to find a consistent role at the club with just 11 appearances in the current season.

Blore, 23, has made 29 overall to date since his debut in 2020, and could be the next NRL forward to be making the move to England with Hull FC.

Hull Daily Mail originally reported the club’s interest in the back-rower, with Fox Sports now adding to that speculation.

The move would also open salary cap space for England international Thompson, who has reportedly received interest from Wests Tigers for 2024.

Both signings would see Hull improve their pack for next season, with the hunt for a new playmaker still on with reported target Adam Clune opting to join Huddersfield Giants from Newcastle Knights, via Examiner Live.

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