Hull FC reportedly face a battle to retain the services of back-rower Andre Savelio amid claims one of their Super League rivals are looking to snap him up.
The 28-year-old has emerged from a career-damaging ACL injury to return emphatically to the first-team picture under Tony Smith. Making his comeback, Savelio was dropped to the reserves, leading to speculation that he was likely to leave at the end of his deal.
However, after finding his feet at the Magic Weekend, the Kiwi has rediscovered his best form in recent weeks. And Savelio proved the star turn as the Black and Whites recorded a much-welcome 34-6 win over St Helens last month.
Now a firm fixture in Tony Smith’s side, Hull FC now appear ready to offer the star a new deal to tie his future to the MKM Stadium.
His current arrangement is due to expire at the end of the season, having signed a two-year extension back in 2021. Now in his fifth season at the club, the former St Helens and Warrington star could be on the move again.
According to Hull Live, however, Hull FC face strong competition for Savelio’s services from Super League leaders Catalans Dragons.
Steve McNamara’s side are in the market to bolster their back-row options with Matt Whitley returning to England at the end of the season.
Wigan-born Whitely is reportedly set to sign for St Helens, while Tikai Chan will be turning out for the Warriors next season with the move already agreed.
That double departure leaves the Super League leaders lacking back-row depth. As such, a move to bring in Savelio would certainly tick a lot of boxes for the French side.
Savelio exit would hurt Tony Smith
A possible exit for Savelio would come as a major blow for Smith, who has come to count on the star in recent weeks.
His performances have certainly caught the eye and it comes as no surprise to see Catalans sniffing around him.
Discussing his progress last week, Smith admitted that Savelio was very much on his way to earning a new deal.
“We’ll discuss all those things at the appropriate times, but of course, if you’re playing well, then it helps your cause,” Smith said on Savelio’s future. “If you’re not out on the park and you’re not playing, it makes it easier for other decisions to be made.
“Andre is going in the right direction for talks about his future with this club, certainly while he’s playing well. That’s all he can do. He can only manage the bits he can manage, and that’s performance. He’s approaching it in the right way.”
Discussing his determination to recover from injury, Smith had nothing but praise for Savelio.
However, he admits there have been a few bumps in the road that the player has had to overcome.
“There’s some scar tissue there, and it takes some time to get over the type of injury he had. There are certainly some physical components.
“There are probably some psychological scars as well. When you’re returning, you’re always a little bit apprehensive, and it always takes some time to get past it.
“He’ll be better for the hit-out. He pushed through. He put in a really good shift for us. We’re hoping that gets easier for him each week and he keeps in that sort of form because he’s a big player for us.”