Joe Lovodua signs last test Hull FC have a knack for recruiting

Hull FC have been on the lookout for an unexpected signing in recent years, with many players coming to the club and having their own rags-to-riches story. From the best ‘project’ of the Richard Agar era in Sam Moa, through Jordan Rankin and Ratu Naulago, through current stars like Joe Lovodua, each of them has left their own mark.

With recruitment being such an important category for the Black and Whites to get right this year, Hull Live looks at five unexpected and unorthodox signings to Hull’s current squad that have caught many by surprise.

chris satae

Fighting for consistent playing time at New Zealand Warriors, Chris Satae was not a household name when Hull FC announced his signing in the summer of 2019. Fortunately, although the club knew what they were getting, with the Tongan great, who can also play for Fiji in the Rugby League World Cup this fall, adding significant size to the Hull package.

Under Brett Hodgson, Satae has gotten better and better. At his best he is destructive through the middle, knocking down tackles and making meters, while surprisingly for a big guy, he also nails his ball game over and over again.

READ MORE: Hull FC Big Nine Danny Houghton joins exclusive club after reaching 400-game milestone

Carlos Tuimavave

With just 14 NRL games under his belt, Carlos Tuimavave was another unknown when Hull FC announced his signing ahead of the 2016 season, but six years later, and with 148 appearances and 50 tries under his belt, he has been a solid club stalwart. . .

However, it’s not just the numbers that make an impression on Tuimavave, but his workload on the pitch and his ability to beat markers and the ‘A’ defender. He has been an excellent server, proof that former Hull head coach Lee Radford watched video of old NSW Cup games until 2am.

Denive Balmforth

A right field pick, but even at just 18 years old, Denive Balmforth was signed by another Super League club.

Sidelined from Warrington earlier this season, Balmforth joined Hull from Warrington and made an immediate impression.

Whether it’s the academy, reserves or first team, reports are littered with the words ‘Balmforth’ and ‘Try’. The hooker certainly knows his way down the line and the club has high hopes for him for the future.

Ligi São

In his third season at Hull, it’s not crazy these days to suggest that Ligi Sao is one of the best props in the Super League. Signed with New Zealand Warriors ahead of the 2020 season, things like discipline and error counting held him back partially, but now in 2022, Sao looks like the absolute part.

He leads the charge into downtown Hull every week, racking up the hits and meter count. In excellent form and with some season-defining games to come, Hull fans are hoping the PCL knee injury suffered against Wigan is not too serious.

joe lovodua

Not many Hull FC fans had heard of Joe Lovodua when the club announced his signing last winter. The former South Sydney hooker never made an NRL appearance for the Redfern club, but he did appear on their feed sides.

However, signing a one-year deal, he has been nothing short of a revelation for the Black and Whites this season. Whether playing center back, full back, loose striker, midfielder or hooker, Lovodua has played with energy and enthusiasm, earning the respect of his teammates through his attitude and adaptability.

He’s already got four tries this year, and with a new deal for 2023 and beyond expected to be on the line, he’s living proof that recruitment and retention at this club are in good hands.

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